Sunday, January 31, 2010

Striving after Wind

The Common Thing
(by R.P.Edwards)

And CEOs
A common thing
Have they
Each will stand
Before the Lord
And for their actions…

It’s an Ecclesiastes kind of morning.  The Old Testament book, penned by the “son of David,” is a bit of a downer; but…it puts things in perspective.  We, who spend so much time in desperate pursuits; we, who tirelessly strive to satisfy the flesh, the mind, and the ego; we, who may be willing to cast aside the most important elements (our fellow travelers) in order to ascend the ladder of “importance;” in the end…it is “vanity”… a “striving after wind.”

And so, as I prepare to engage in “my” daily doings and, as my fellow travelers do the same, it would do us well to take note of the writer's final admonition for, “this” life, dear reader, is but a vapor.

The conclusion, when all has been heard, is;
Fear God and keep His commandments,
Because this applies to every person.
For God will bring every act to judgment,
Everything which is hidden,
Whether it is good or evil.
(Ecclesiastes 12:13)

That's what I think.  How about you?  Click comments below...and say.

Friday, January 29, 2010

President Obama's Garnish

The Garnish
(by R.P.Edwards)

They treat Him like a garnish
Not fish…or fowl…or meat
A bobble for the masses
Not something
That you eat
A “nothing,” meant to placate
Diverting common view
So they can feed us poison
Disguised as good…and true

A couple years back, the then “chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” Marine General, Peter Pace, said, “I do not believe the United States is well served by a policy that says it is OK to be immoral in any way.”  By “immoral” the good general was referring to homosexuality; putting it in the same class as adultery.  He was, as you might surmise, a proponent of the ongoing “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” policy, whereby military personnel were, and are, forbidden to enquire as to ones sexuality, and, if homosexual behavior became, or becomes known…expulsion is the result.

Now, fast forward to 2010.  President Obama declares that “it’s the right thing to do” to abolish the policy that has served us so well these many years and give homosexuality equal standing with race.  Yes, the chief executive has put his stamp of approval on what has been traditionally referred to as an aberrant lifestyle, and is trying his best to bring the rest of us…up to speed.  Sigh.

Let me step aside for a moment.  I am not involved in a crusade against homosexuals.  I frankly don’t care what people do in their bedrooms.  But, when it comes to the efficiency and continuity of the armed forces; social engineering has no place. 

But let’s get to the “meat” of the complaint; in the oval office we now have a president who, although he is quick to acknowledge Jesus Christ and drop a Christian phrase; he has shown himself to be very pro-abortion, and very pro-gay agenda.  Frankly, the two sides don’t mix, and it grieves me that so many of my brothers and sisters are indifferent when their precious Savior is continually dragged through the mud. 

But, that’s just me.  Perhaps I’m out of touch.  Perhaps the new Christianity, as defined by academia and Hollywood; perhaps that’s the way to go.  After all, these elites have done so much for me.  They built this great nation, suffering through toil and trouble.  They left their blood on the beaches of Iwo Jima and Normandy.  They laid their lives down at Bunker Hill and Gettysburg.  They have shown, through their tireless, timeless striving and their years-long suffering and sacrifice that they know how to humbly bow and enquire of the divine mind.  To touch, perchance, He who endowed us with our rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” 

Excuse me.  A moment of insanity.  Actually I think the morality of the elite is akin to the foam that gathers on the top of a cesspool. 

By-the-way, the other night I heard the testimony of a “former homosexual” who said that because of Jesus Christ (the real one), his desires were now directed towards women, not men.  If you, or anyone you know is looking for an “out” from the gay lifestyle, following is a link to an organization that can help:
Exodus International

That’s what I think.  How about you.  Click comments below…and say

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Cold Hands

Cold Hands
(by R.P.Edwards)

Cold is cool
When way too hot
But unwelcome cold
Is really not
So keep your frozen hands
At bay
Don’t touch my bod
In any way
For if you do
I’ll memory keep
And wait for “your”
So toasty sleep
And with “my” frozen fingers
So keep your ice cubes
Off my bod!

Over the years he had been known by many names; John the giant, John the great, John the gentle, but, to those in the northernmost headquarters of  “Fish and Game,” he was simply known as, John.  He was, without question, the most successful poacher of the artic fox and the Alaskan marmot and, although most in the bureau gave him a pass (and a wide berth) --as much for his amazing knowledge of topography and survival skills, as for his inoffensive search for a little pocket change to support his habit of chewing tobacco and gin--, there was always the “new guy” who wanted the feather and so, Ronny, the transplant from the lower forty-eight, went on a “John” hunt and, by golly, he found him.

It was a long walk back to the wardens snow cat and, with the old, and rather round “poacher” off to his left (no resistance given, a few pelts hanging from his belt) John veered ever so slightly to one side as they walked a frozen river to save a little time. “John!,” bellowed the near-teen, “this way!”  That’s all he had time to say for, as the trapper knew (and only assumed that anyone venturing this far north would know) there was a thinning of the ice where one stream met another.  Crack! Kersplash! And, a moment later, a deep guttural grunt as the “criminal” lifted the young man up from certain death.  A few minutes later, as time and subzero temperatures would cause frostbite to claim at least some of the fingers of the novice, John ripped the gloves from the popsicle and then thrust the icy hands inside his own thick coat, one under each arm, skin to skin.  And…there they stood…face to face…for the ten minutes need for the thaw.  Two hours later, after sharing some cooked rabbit by a robust fire (and a shot of “fire” for the innards), the warden bid John adieu, and never again sought him out, or tolerated a word against him. 

It was the water-pump.  I poked my head under the car and followed the water.  I had hoped for a hose, but it was merely the launching point for the water streaming from the weeping organ.  Ugh, another new experience.  So, with the aid of my daughters fiancé (heck, he did most of it), we took the thing apart and purchased a new pump.  The next day, as I struggle to remove the lower hose (thought I might as well replace it), the freezing temperatures (no garage) and the soaking of coolant, caused my little digits to cry out for warmth.  So, I got up, went in the house and, seeing my fifteen year old son warm and toasty at the crack of noon, I removed his quilt and placed my frigid fingers on “John’s” hot chest.  Immediately I got his attention, but he didn’t scream or even protest (other than the look in his eyes and the slight quivering of the six foot three frame).  After a minute I had a proposal.  “I tell you what, son.  I’ll let you stay in bed if you allow me to warm my hands on you every few minutes.”  He got up.

That's what I think.  How about you?  Click comments below...and say.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Superbowl Blues

Not so Superbowl
(by R.P.Edwards)

The Superbowl
Without a team
The Superbowl
Without a dream
I tried my best
To stake a claim
I tried to give
My hopes…a name
But all my horses
One step shy
All my boxers
Blackened eyes
All my arrows
Fell to earth
All my plenty
Dust…and dearth
And so I ponder
Should I stay?
Watch the game
No heart…in play?
Can frills and fancies
Earn my view
When on the gridiron
No champion…true?
For now…it’s no
Or so I say
Clever ads
May win…the day

The Rams…rammed.  The Cardinals…clipped.  The Vikings…dead and on their way to Vahalla. 
First I went for the local team, then the favorite player, and finally the sympathetic old guy…all for naught. 
Honestly, we might just pass on the “event” this year.  Even the prospective new crop of high dollar commercials have lost their allure (knowing, of course, that they can be garnered elsewhere). 

However, there is some time between now and then and, when game day arrives, the tube may very well make its way to the “Super” channel.  But for now…it’s a pass.   Too much time and emotion already invested. 

Unless, of course…I find a reason.  If I can’t find someone to root for, perhaps I can pick a team to root against.  Let’s see, the Rams, in their near-glory days,  were beaten by the Patriots in Superbowl thirty six…in New Orleans!  Took me three days to get over it.  Now there’s a reason!  Root “against” the team…from New Orleans!

I know.  Lame.  But…I’ve got to come up with a reason to see, firsthand, what the Clydesdales are up to.

That’s what I think.  How about you?  Click comments below…and say.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Too Love?

Would You Love Me?
(by R.P.Edwards)

Would you love me
Without my name?
Would your caring
Be the same?
Would you love me
Without my face?
Would your heart
Still have a place?
Would you love me
Though I’m new?
No memories stored
No…me…and you?
Would you love me
Without my touch?
Would my dying
Mean as much?
Would you love me
Just ’cause I am?
No link to you
Just in His plan?
Would you love me?
Oh, please, please do
For, with the chance
I’ll love you…too.

Picture your son, your daughter, your niece, nephew, cousins by the dozen.  Picture all those you care about, know about. Love.  Now, think about life without them.  Think about the cord…cut.  Think about the unthinkable…their sudden death.  Of course there would be sadness, grief, mourning, despair, depression.  Why? Because you know them; love them; cherish them; and they are…gone.

Now, a question:  Is their worth as a person dependant on your “love” and association?  Or, is there an intrinsic “value” in their personhood, their humanity?  The answer has to be, must be, the latter.   Indeed, we as a society have deemed it so.  A person is a person, regardless of age or association or…attachments.

Now, picture those you love the most as a newborn, just moments from the womb.  Are they not just as much a person then…as now?  Of course.  Now, picture this “loved one” one minute “before” birth; one hour “before” birth; one week “before” birth.  Are they any less human?  Are they any less the person that will, if given the chance, become your hearts desire?  Of course not.

Do you see the problem we have with abortion?  Do you see the dreadful dilemma thrust upon us by seven black-robed jurists who, in their omnipotence, declared that “personhood” is defined by ones position in relation to the birth canal?

And so we have the trial of Scott Roeder, a middle-aged Midwestern fellow who, on a Sunday morn, walked into a church and shot a man…dead.  This was no ordinary victim, however (if there is such a thing).  No, he was Dr. George Tiller; to many, the infamous late-term abortionist known as “Tiller the baby killer.”  However, to others he was a champion of “choice.”  Since there is no question associated with the deed, or doer, it now comes down to the sentencing.  There’s “First Degree Murder” (seems obvious); or “Voluntary Manslaughter” which is defined as, “an unreasonable but honest belief that circumstances existed that justified deadly force.”  Mr. Roeder’s stated reasoning is that killing Dr. Tiller…saved lives; the lives of children not yet born.  So, the rendering of a verdict of  Voluntary Manslaughter also seems--at least to this observer-- plausible.  Indeed, I will be interested to see just how the defense and prosecution approach the motivation factor of the accused.  Whether the jury will be granted full discloser as to Dr. Tiller’s grizzly vocation.  Information the accused apparently obsessed over.

As an aside: the presiding judge has stated clearly that this trial will not be allowed to be a battle over abortion.  But that, sir, is exactly what it will become.

That's what I think.  How about you?  Click comments below...and say.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Elite Mystique

The Elite
(by R.P.Edwards)

Lifted brows
And upturned snoz
To the left
On any cause
Boasting of their
Lofty view
Give me someone
Big of heart
And average brain
Knowing truth
And right
And wrong
Not dependant
On the throng
Wisdom’s birth
Is found beyond
The realm …of earth

I never saw the Exorcist (70’s flick having to do with demon possession), but I recall someone saying there was a particular scene where projectile vomit was involved.  The pea-soup variety.  Well, the other day my possessed vehicle (“possessed” by an ignorant owner) proceeded to violently spew a greenish liquid at me, causing some of it to soil my uniform of flannel…and jeans. 

You see, I had purchased a new radiator cap (suspecting the old one was shot) and, having let the engine run a good while, I then turned it off and sought to make sure said cap was tight (Yes…I was aware of the whole “Hot” coolant thing [ignorant, but not THAT ignorant])  Anyway, I was doing the righty-tighty maneuver, but instead of coming to a “stop,” it freewheeled to “open”  and then violently upchucked.  I danced quickly out of the way but, alas, some splashed on the aforementioned clothing articles and I had to (sigh) change my “look” (only slightly, still in flannel and jeans). 

Speaking of ignorance:

You know, I’ve noticed that some commentators on the tube seem to take delight in downing people who are opposed to them on certain issues.  One popular method of dissing…is IQ; often questioning the intelligence of these individuals and, conversely, exalting those who are wise enough to think as they and, naturally, and predictably, many of these “elite”  have the oft desired Ivy League pedigree and, no doubt,  mingle freely among the Mensa-ites.

So, I was thinkin,’ the problem with these smart guys (and they certainly are that, no question) is that they depend too much on their own limited vision; their narrow, imperfect view.  And, thinking so highly of themselves, they are sometimes wont to impose upon us “normal” “average” types…their enlightened --it’s for your own good--will.  But, as stated, their elevated perception is, at best, limited…terribly limited.

So, give me, any day, a guy or gal of average IQ who has enough God-given sense to know there‘s an ocean you can tap into, rather than those self touting elites who continually bucket the stagnant cistern of their own intellect.  Here’s a quote from someone who had the right idea.

I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day. 
Abraham Lincoln

By-the-way:  Today we remember, sadly, tragically, that 50 million Americans have died by the abortionist's knife because seven black-robed elite…knew better.

That's what I think.  How about you? Click comments below...and say.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Micro Waves

Micro Waves
(by R.P.Edwards)

“When I was a boy!”
See their young eyes glaze
As you drift and rant
Of olden days
“When I was a boy!”
Oh, here we go
“Cooking was art
Thoughtful and slow
Micro waves were at the beach
The product
Of a toddler’s feet
But now it’s slam!
And zip!
And done!
An instant meal
It’s wrong, my son.
Yes, when I was a boy
It was good…and slow
Please, pop me a bag
Before you go.”

Weird Al is on in the kitchen.  On the other side of the room some news guy is on the tube, and I, half a cup of coffee down, am near the end of another week of the midnight shift.  It’s rather unnatural, hard to get used to, but it comes with the vocation…and if you don’t like it…

Due to the know how of a co-worker I have been introduced to the microwave egg-poacher.  It’s a plastic doohickey, a little more than two bucks, and it resembles two small half domes…or a rather ugly brassiere for a small mannequin (did I say that?  Must be midnights.)  Anyway, this fellow made some McDonaldesque English muffin creations that were…right on.  So, naturally, I had to purchase the bumpy thing and introduce my family to the delicacy.  Yum.  Thanks, Carl.

So, the election in MA is over and the anti-Obamacare guy won.  Good.  Now, maybe this package can be reshaped so that it is not so odious.  Because…the healthcare thing is definitely broken.  But the fix needs to be carefully crafted.  How about starting small?  How about we fix the “lawyer thing?”  The frivolous lawsuit stuff that makes doctors pay, annually, insurance fees that us ordinary folk would consider the price of a house.  Yeah, that could use some attention.  And oh, if they just did that…that would be a great start.

By-the-way, another co-worker told me of his visit to an emergency room.  His arm was hurting.  They took some x-rays, gave an EKG, did some blood work, gave him a muscle relaxer, talked to him a bit and had him sit around for a few hours and then handed him a bill for around six grand!  Sure, the guy had insurance, but that kind of billing borders on criminal. 

So, does the healthcare system need to be fixed?  You betcha.  But let’s be smart about it.

That’s what I think.  How about you?  Click comments below…and say.

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Taste of Bigotry

The Seed
(by R.P.Edwards)

The Seed of hatred
Is in the flesh
The human fabric
Unholy mesh
An ancient planting
Rebellion’s need
When nurtured, yielding fruit…that bleeds
 But love will quell
The vile growth
The Father’s Word
The living oath
But till perfection
Wary be
For in the flesh
There hides…the seed

I suppose I blacked out for a moment.  Just as well.  The second act was memorable enough without full consciousness. 

It was nearly three decades ago and I was a graveyard shift security guard/janitor for a sort of motel overflow building in, of all places, Waikiki.  Now, it wasn’t beachfront, but one street back, and this two story building for which I was the “guard” had, along with some extra rooms upstairs, a few touristy shops on the ground level.  Well, along with my duty of keeping an eye on things I also had to clean up the place (litter and pigeon poop mostly) and, as you can imagine, there was quite a nightlife in paradise when the sun went down (even one street back). For a while things went along in a routine fashion, but I remember on one particular evening that I came across a fellow using one of “my” benches  for a bed (a no no) and, upon my simple request that he change positions I received, instead of simple compliance; what I got was an in-your-face confrontation with one of the locals who held me (the “non” islander) partially responsible for some land grabs and other injustices done to his ancestors by some other guys with a similar skin tone to mine.  This history lesson became so heated that police showed up and shooed the guy away.  Turns out he didn’t really leave however.  Nope, he just laid low until he could introduce the back of my head to a beer bottle and, as I was then inclined to recline, he followed up with a special foot-in-the-face aloha.  Now, nearly thirty years later, the knot on my noggin is pretty much gone, but I still have a chipped tooth to remember him by.  My only consolation is that, since sandals were the footwear of choice, maybe I gave him a bad toe-ache. 

And that, dear reader, was my introduction to the other side of racism.  Sure, this fellow may have had some chemicals in his system (don’t know), but his mindset was by no means isolated and, I have to tell you, from my end…it was a bad feeling.  Imagine, being judged by your skin tone.  Being “condemned” because of your pigment proportions.  I didn’t like it.  Not at all.

And so today is the holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  As such I thought it only appropriate to review some of his work.  In short order, through the marvel of the internet, I was able to listen to the “I have a Dream” speech given in front of the Lincoln memorial in 1963.  And I have to tell you, though I haven’t walked the walk, or fought the fight…I found it inspiring.  Granted, my little brush with the other side of bigotry is incredibly inconsequential in the light of the meat and meaning of the message.  But it, at least, allows me one grain of truth in order to try and imagine conditions one hundred, one thousand times more intolerable.  And, with this basest of understanding, to pause, if for only a moment, and acknowledge a great man, a great cause, and the great task ahead of not letting the meaning…fail.  Following is the final thought of that speech given nearly five decades ago.

“When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

That's what I think.  How about you?  Click comments below...and say.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Haitian Curse?

(by R.P.Edwards)
The classic problem
Man…gone wrong
Choosing evil
Satan’s song
Prone to error
Inviting grief
Desperate seeking
For relief
But bondage is the traitor’s life
He seeks the key
But gets the knife
And cannot pull the damning blade
He wallows in the hell
He’s made
But waiting near
For torment’s pause
The hearing bringing heaven’s cause
The mighty torrent
With the plea
“I need you, Jesus, set me free”
And rushing in, o’erwhelming power
The Father’s arm!
Salvations hour!
And in an instant…
The curse…as air
Is blown away
As…never there

Thousands  upon thousands were dead and a prominent American made the statement that maybe, just maybe, the judgment of God was involved.  Here’s what he said: 

Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

Yeah, it’s an excerpt of Abraham Lincoln’s 2nd inaugural address.  And, being a man of faith, he floated the idea that perhaps the hand of God was involved in the Civil War.  Slavery was a monstrous evil, and God’s judgment will not sleep forever. Was it judgment?  I have no idea.

Let’s fast forward to 2010 and the horrific earthquake that struck the small nation of Haiti.  Thousands upon thousands have died and one prominent televangelist floated the idea that due to national beginnings that had to do with dealings with the devil, well, bad things have happened ever since.  He didn’t make the direct link, but there was definitely a nibble around the edge.  So, was God’s hand in this natural disaster?  I have no idea.

Now, I think we should all cut Pat Robertson some slack.  From that tiny little “maybe” statement, he has drawn furious fire from all quarters. But the gist of his “message” (as I saw it ) was not that “they got what they deserved” but rather that prayer and aid was needed…and would be given.  Indeed, the organization he founded so long ago has been helping the desperate and destitute for longer than many of his critics have been breathing.  And, at the end of the day, “operation blessing” will probably give more relief to the destitute Haitians…than 99% of the reverend’s detractors.

So, judgment?  The hand of God?  I don’t know.  But, on a national or personal scale, when lives are shaken…it’s a good time to reassess and seek a foundation…that cannot be moved.

That's what I think.  How about you?  Click comments below...and say.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Vandura farewell

A Van’s Life
(by R.P.Edwards)

Faithful transport
Four wheeled friend
Hours on the road, we spend
Old, when new
Another chance
Another family
Another dance
Kind of ugly
Precious cargo
Safely keep
Built for seven
Turned to eight
Joyful going
State to state
Until, at last
With years and wear
The strength for distance
No longer there
And miles are hard
And rough
And few
And so you pass…
To life…anew

Old, ugly, but a heart of gold.  No, not me (the heart thing didn’t apply anyway,) but rather our former people carrier…a multicolored ‘97 GMC Vandura.

Curious history.  At the beginning of the last decade my expanding family was in need of a reliable vehicle to take the brood places, especially way back east to visit ma and pa.  It was over a twenty hour trek and although others exhorted us to “fly,” when you multiplied the price of a round trip ticket by eight, well, it was driving…or nothing.  And so, seeing our “need,” our mechanic did some looking on his own (how often does that happen?).  He found the ugly duckling, converted it (originally designed for seven, he upped the capacity [what a guy!]) and in no time we were on the freeway heading for the nutmeg state (look it up). 

There we were, dad and mom, driver and shotgun.  Between us, a large cooler that also served as the pedestal for a combo TV/VCR (held in place by bungee cords).  The kids were dispersed behind and watched movies or occupied themselves with other games or gizmos for the ten hour legs.  Since the “straight-through” was frowned upon (kids would riot) we’d stop in PA, at the same motel, and jump in the pool and later dine on fine cuisine (pizza hut).  The next day we’d have breakfast at “Friendly’s” and then, in a few hours…“Hi Grandma! Grandpa! Uncle Fred!” And so it went.  And, with the one week of vacation, four days would be travel, three days visiting.  And our old Vandura held up like a champ. 

Well, a few years back the ol’ girl was struggling on the hills just north of Pittsburg (thank God for the flatlands!) and, upon our return it soon became obvious that Betsy was on her last legs.  The  “service engine soon” light made frequent appearances (“cost more to fix her than she’s worth”) and other parts began, one by one, giving up the ghost (large side window exploded one day after a boy closed the side door.  I put in some Plexiglas ).  I patched this, glued that, pulled some seats out (she became a cargo van); and I’d audibly exhort her by patting the sun-cracked dash and saying “You can do it! You can do it!  Atta girl!“  But, eventually, we had to deal with the reality…of goodbye. 

So…I called the Salvation Army, made the arrangements and, on a sleepy Saturday morning, she was picked up for the next phase of her life.  And, who knows, maybe a part of her will make it into another people-mover we purchase.  But when it comes to visiting back east…next time…I’d rather fly.

I’ve posted a few photos of the ol’ girl on her last day.  A lot of history there.

That’s what I think.  How about you?  Click comments below…and say.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Scott Brown and Martha Coakley, sitting in a tree...

(by R.P.Edwards)

Puritans and Pilgrims
Twist beneath the sod
Tormented by the children
Forgetful of their God
Dining on “their” bounty
Sleeping in “their” beds
The children make a mockery
Of fathers, cold and dead
Alas, O land of Plymouth
Abandoning the stone
Dismissing past foundations
They substitute their own
But time will bring the hammer
The wind
And winter’s blast
Let’s see which house is standing
The present?
Or…the past?

“Scott and Martha, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G” well…not really.  I’m referring, of course, to the coming vote in Massachusetts to fill the hole in the U.S Senate left when Ted Kennedy went on to do other things.  In this race the republican is State Senator, Scott Brown.  And the democrat:  Massachusetts Attorney General, Martha Coakley.   And…immediately at stake:  The life or death of the monstrosity known as the Healthcare Bill.  Well, that being said, my preference is obvious.  But, just for fun, I thought I’d check out the official websites to see where Scott and Martha stand on the issues…especially the moral issues, or, as I like to call them…the “God” issues. 

Sadly, Ms. Coakley’s site was quite vague.  No mention of abortion or gay marriage, just a general “I’ll do a good job” kind of resume.  Mr. Brown, however, was quite explicit:  Gun rights, Israel, Iran, immigration, education and yes, abortion and marriage. 

His stand on marriage is traditional.  I like that.  But his view of abortion is kind of mushy.  Following is an excerpt:   While this decision should ultimately be made by the woman in consultation with her doctor…
Ugh…he doesn’t get it, or he’s pandering just a bit.  I’ll choose to believe the latter. 

And so, in a week we’ll know.  The good people of Massachusetts; the descendants of Plymouth Colony; those who most directly live in the “land of the Pilgrim’s pride”…these may very well hold the fate of all of us…in their hands.  And I dearly hope, for all of us, that they heed the words etched on the stone at William Bradford’s (governor of Plymouth colony) grave.  It reads,

qua patres difficillime adepti sunt nolite turpiter relinquere
Which means:
What our forefathers with so much difficulty secured, do not basely relinquish.

That’s what I think.  How about you?  Click comments below…and say.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

When Baseball was Saved

Baseball Reborn
(by R.P.Edwards)

Baseball was gasping
And poor
The war of the greedy
Kept fans
From the door
But then Mark and Sammy
In epic display
In sportsmanlike battle
Brought forth a new day
And hope was rekindled
And childhood…found
When joy was a ball…and a bat…and some ground
And for a time
All was pure
All was true
All was sweet
Till sin was revealed
And laid at their feet
And the mighty…bowed low
Exposing…mere men
Who…for a time
Made us children…again

And so Mark McGwire, the new batting coach for the St Louis Cardinals, has finally admitted to using performance enhancing drugs during his playing days.  In hindsight it was kind of obvious.  The guy was huge! and it was, at the time, jokingly suggested to him that Popeye wanted his forearms back.  But, he sure could send that ball flyin.’ And we loved it.  And we loved him.

Steroids, the chemical aid that makes you big and bad…in no time.  It’s a shortcut, a cheat, a quick fix, and it comes with a boatload of potential side effects…especially for the young.  And that, dear reader, is what makes its use by professional athletes, so damning.  Little Johnny idolizes Big Mac and wants to be just like him.  And so he begs, “Give me the juice!”

But, this little piece is not another slug adding his weight to the pig pile.  No, on the contrary, I’d like to thank Mr. McGwire, and his worthy opponent, Sammy Sosa, for saving baseball.  You see, it all goes back to the end of the ’94 season, stretching into ’95.  The owners and players were at an impasse…over money.  And so, as they squabbled and scrapped, these “millionaires” threw their “fans” under the proverbial team bus and left the communal “we” hating these ungrateful, forgetful, pampered prima donnas (in suits “and” pinstripes) and, even though they finally worked out their little tiff; we had had enough of the shallow souls who dared to defile “our” precious game.

Now, enter the ‘98 season and the battling titans, Mark and Sammy.  One, after glorious another, they sent that little white ball screaming over the fences.  And, with each successive swing; with each explosion of leather and lumber, with each violent waving of the slugger’s magic wand; we, the public, found ourselves entranced, enthralled, and slowly but surely captivated by the pastime that once owned our hearts.  And so, baseball was saved, and all but forgotten was the strike that, just a short time before…had wantonly struck us to the very core.

Well, since that time, revelations of the chemical enhancements have brought us down a bit.  But, compared to the strike…it is merely a flesh wound.  Sure, they shouldn’t have done it.  And yes, safeguards are necessarily now in place.  But, their individual demons that drove them to such great lengths in order to excel…this we can understand.  And yes, contrition is necessary.  And absolution?  I think it would do all of us well… to visit that place.

But, there is one aside that needs mention.  One little point to ponder.  The U.S. Congress.  Yes, our lofty legislators who deemed it necessary to bring the steroids problem to the front of the line.  Oh, how they pontificated and posed and pounded the podium!  Oh, how they, with cameras rolling,  righted this great egregious wrong!  But, while they placed the Band-Aid on the already healing wound; behind them, seething, and slithering beneath their legislative desks was the money based cancer that, due to gross neglect, has brought this nation to the very brink of insolvency.  Perhaps, in hindsight, they could have used their time a little more wisely.  Perhaps, while they sought to restrict the sins of others; perhaps they should have sought first for themselves…the confessional.  And then, with conscience clear… done the works of true repentance.  For, compared to the our present difficulties, the baseball strike seems as nothing.  And, I’m afraid, it will take much more than Mark and Sammy…to get us out of it.

That’s all I got.  What do you think?  Click comments below…and say.

Also, a reader has some excellent photos on display.  Check them out at:

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Simple fan

Numbskulls Unite!
(by R.P.Edwards)

Don’t you just hate ‘em?
The fans without a clue
Picking teams for color schemes
Perhaps they fancy…blue?
But the serious… crunch numbers
And fill their heads with stats
While the brainless root by sentiment
Ignoring all the facts
But what’s really sad
Is sometimes
The numbskulls rule the day
Oblivious to pundit speak
They go their merry way
And when they win…it’s happy time!
And,  “See…I told you so!”
But don’t explain their luck to them
They’re just too dumb…to know

“Elizabeth, what do you think of this one?”  Hearing the summons the five year old pixie (long golden hair in pig tails with pink bows, wearing a bright blue sun dress) paused from her game of jacks with the recently signed offensive lineman and merrily skipped over to “Pa Pa” to quickly look over a top prospect for the rebuilding St. Louis Underdogs.  She paused, looked up at the towering fullback and, as he smiled and winked at the tyke (who reminded him of his annoying little sister) she reached over, grabbed his large, calloused right hand and, shaking it purposely, said, “Welcome to the team?”  In the background (as the team owner lifted the girl, gave her a kiss, and then sent her back to her game) a new assistant whispered to the head coach, “Mr. Brady, is he serious?”  “Serious?” said the skipper, turning to look into the underlings eyes, “That little girl is the best judge of horseflesh…I’ve ever seen.”

I must confess, I’m closer to the “numbskull” fan in the poem, than the other, knowledgeable guys.  Sure, I’ll usually root for the local team, but sometimes I latch onto a personality and, as far as his team is concerned… well, they’re just along for the ride.  Case in point:  I’m a Kurt Warner fan.  Class act.  Christian.  Role model.  I’ve been watching him from the glory days of  ’99 (Rams)…to the present.  Yes, I appreciate all the wonderful stats associated with teams and playoffs and prospects, but I want Arizona to win because Kurt Warner in on the team.  And if the Cardinals fall?  Well, I’ll probably crunch the numbers and root for…the Vikings.  Why?  Because there’s an old guy at the helm.  Us old guys have to stick together.

That’s what I think.  How about you?  Click comments below…and say.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Remember Abortion

Under our Noses
(by R.P.Edwards)

Underneath our noses
Underneath our street
Underneath our country’s shoes
Our walking…righteous feet
Hear them from the sewers
The children’s blood
It cries
Begging God for justice
No matter of…the why
Not careful of the reason
Not tender to the need
The done is murdered millions
The innocent…that bleed
So ponder…you who ponder
Before you have your say
Before you cast your ballot
Before your homage pay
Remember He who holds you
That judgment He must mete
For stand, He will
For children
Who plead…beneath the street

Her name is Abby Johnson.  A Christian lady.  Used to be a director at a Planned Parenthood  clinic.  Saw an ultrasound of a baby being aborted.  Changed her mind.  Realized…it was murder.

I would like to write lighter fare, but reminders are necessary.  Like the pesky editorial in the New England journal that, incessantly, reminded those who had never even seen a slave…that slavery existed…and that it was evil.  So too, in our day, abortion--the murder of children--continues to go on, and continues to drag us down into the proverbial pit. 

I’ll not waste time by arguing with the non-Christian.  Believe what you will.  But, to the one who names the name of Christ; who holds on to His blood stained cross; who calls upon His precious name…you should pause a moment to consider.  Consider this thing that you unwittingly link…with the lovely.  Remember that there were those who sang the songs of Zion, and then went, with clear conscience, to check on the status of their dark skinned “property.”  However, they didn’t perceive that He; He who they considered “on board” with their aberrant theology; they didn’t realize that “His” aid could not accompany a cause that was not only unjust, but evil. And their decisions, “without” His aid…ultimately brought ruin.

And so, in our day, we have another great sin to contend with; and it again involves the value of human life.  This time, however, the value is not found in servitude…but in death.  And today, as then, there are those who believe that “their” God will sustain and support their cause. 

I suppose what I’m saying is this; in all our talking about Tea Parties, and Taxes, and Cap n Trade, and EPA, and Obamacare, and terrorist’s underwear; let us remember that the way out of our modern morass is to sincerely seek and elicit the aid of the one who sees the end, from the beginning.  And, without question, part of that “seeking” is to oppose that which He hates…and cannot bless.  Abortion.

That’s what I think.  How about you?  Click comments below…and say.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Oh, to see Clearly

Cat Sense
(by R.P.Edwards)

You see it clearly
You know its there
I…see nothing
Just a cat…with a stare
But your sense is different
Fine-tuned for the catch
Crafted for cunning
A mousling…to snatch
So I’ll trust your weird waiting
Perhaps aid ‘gainst the foe
With a trap in the corner
Where toes oughn’t…go

The long steady stare.  The twitching tail.  Perched…patiently.  The miniature lion…on the hunt.  Yeah, the cat in the kitchen, eyeing that spot between the stove and the counter.  We use this slot for some rather large cutting boards, but apparently there’s some other doings in there.  Perhaps a bug of some sort, but most likely a field mouse…not in the field. 

Perception.  And it’s close cousin…wisdom.  We’ve often heard that the more you know…the more you realize how little you know.  The same goes for “seeing.”  Over time I have become aware (with the aid of others, thank you so much) that I have certain blind spots in my vision.  Some of it is inherent in males (my wife says, “Men scan.  Women actually ‘look,’) but most of it is natural.  Frankly, we are not designed, individually, to know it all, see it all.  We need, if we are wise, to rely on others for their “different” take, view, perception.  Yes, knowing that you don’t know…is a step in the right direction of …taking ‘right’ steps.

You know, this perception thing; that’s what concerns me about the leaders we choose.  Call me naïve, but I honestly think that politicians that are so wrong when it comes to the value of human life and relationships…well, I wonder…what else are they ‘not’ seeing.  And, to say, as some say, that these “high thinkers” can guide us wisely on other issues when they are so blind to the basics; to me that’s just wishful thinking.  Excuse a religious moment:  The Bible says, “The fear of the Lord…is the beginning of wisdom.”
In other words: begin acknowledging someone greater than yourself.  With that starting place…then there is the possibility of real hope.

Just heard the clatter of the cat.  Must check the battlefield.

That’s what I think.  How about you?  Click comments below…and say.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

No Snow Day

Snow Day?
(by R.P.Edwards)

White and wonderful
falling down
Dancing children
Play the clown
Teachers…sleep in
A winter’s gift
But for other slugs
“Go work your shift!”

You’d call it a walk-in basement.  Towards the front of the house…it's underground.  In the back…a sliding glass door that leads to the rather large back yard.  I remember as a kid ( no internet) getting up in the middle of the night and making my way to the glass portal to cipher the accumulation.  With a flip of the light switch I’d watch it come down and even though I grew up in a New England town (accustomed to the winter white stuff) I knew that if a certain height was reached…no school.  For confirmation…the radio.  If my school was mentioned…joy.

It’s early in the a.m. and the local television stations are milking our little snow storm for all its worth (this is “not” New England).  Yes, school is cancelled (cancelled “before” the first flake) and, even though we home school…we tend to mirror the other guys schedule.  For the children…joy.

Alas, there are many whose occupations are oblivious to the blizzard.  No snow days.  No snow angels.  No snowmen, leisurely built between snowball “pops.”   As I stepped into the home last night (after a double), my son asked if my work would be cancelled on the morrow.  “No, son, it would take another foot or two for that possibility.”  However, in-between my steel mill tasks this day, perhaps a snow angel would be appropriate.  I wonder if the plant manager would accommodate?

That's what I think. How about you?  Click comments below...and say.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Bold Brit

Old and Bold
(by R.P.Edwards)

There’s something about
The advance of gray
In what you do
In what you say
No longer preening
To please the eye
With honest words…
Here’s how
Here’s why
“You want my opinion?”
Well, here it goes
Sorry about
Your tender toes
But there’s something about
The end of years
Through dimming eyes…
Your vision‘s…clear

“You want some advice, Tiger Woods?  Turn to Christ.”  Well, not exactly in those words, but on Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume, a venerable contributor was asked his opinion in regards to sports and the New Year, and, by golly…he gave his opinion.

I always liked Brit.  His calm demeanor; his friendly Bassett-like jowls (no offense); his knowledgeable input and, his ability to take a strong position without being overly combative.  Well, a while back he semi-retired and I remember that he said one of his goals in his latter years…had to do with his faith in God.

As the beginning poem implies, there’s an honesty that can come with age.  Perhaps it’s the realization that life is limited and that ultimately, all our previous milestones--wealth, fame, travel, influence--pale in the silhouette of the coming reaper.  Yes, things are put in perspective.  So…when Mr. Hume was asked a question, he gave an answer.

You know, I’m still, somewhat, in the “preening” phase of life.  Yes, I’ve passed the half century mark, but there are still “goals” and aspirations.  However, upon reflection, I have to concur with Brit…forgiveness and redemption is found in Christ.  And, ultimately, and eternally, that’s where it’s at.

I don’t know if the commentator’s remarks prompted me to action, but there’s a new feature to the left.  It’s a simple gospel message link.  For…when all is said and done…there’s an eternity waiting.  And it might be wise, now and then, to give it…and “Him”…a thought.

That’s what I think.  How about you?  Click comments below…and say.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Kerosene and Me

Carbon friendly
(by R.P.Edwards)

They make me ill
Solar Cells
Don’t ring my bell
Going Green
Is not my scene
For one thing…weak
And much too lean
But fossil fuels
I think they’re cool!
Just right
For the giant’s tool
To fire!
And Forge!
And mold our space!
Till nukes on line
Can take their place
But until then
Let’s dig and drill
There’s power aplenty
Beneath the hill
It’s there to use
And use…we must
For winds and weather…
You cannot trust

Darn cold.  Less than ten degrees.  I threw on the coat and scooted outside to retrieve the blue jug…the kerosene.

Backtrack to 2006, December.  An ice storm hit and power was out.  Not just for us…but for thousands!  Yep, we were in a pickle.  Sure, the old gas stove in the basement (a Kenmore from way back) could still be lit with a match, but the furnace was out.  And, naturally, electric space heaters were dead on arrival.  So…since this wasn’t your standard “off and on” power outage (For us, days.  For others…much longer.) my wife scoured the area for a kerosene heater.  She found one (a bit pricey, and the kerosene…outrageous!) lugged it home, and in no time it was merrily glowing in the corner.  Yes…we were mindful of the hazards, and kept an eye on it.  But that little workhorse kept us well above the freezing mark for the duration.  Funny, I remember when the power came back on.  We were sitting at the table and the Christmas lights started to twinkle.

Listen, I’m a fan of fossil fuels.  Sure, they’re dirty, but they helped build a nation and they currently keep this super power steaming.  Alternative sources of energy?  Sure, go ahead.  But that fleet that defends you; those jets that cover you; those tanks that take it in the teeth for you…they all eat the stuff.  And, the Lord has provided us with plenty.  My state alone could power this giant for a long, long time.  Long enough to build more nukes, maybe turn on hydrogen, maybe make fusion possible.  Yeah, I think it’s there for a reason.  And maybe my divine connection…makes it even more odious to the green machine.

So, I got the juice, and the kerosene heater is ready to go.  It’s waiting in my basement hideaway.  Waiting to be the useful servant it's always been.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

First things First

First things First
(by R.P.Edwards)

First things first
We often say
So, let’s begin the year…this way
Go back to “firsts”
Go back to “He”
Who gave our rights
Who set us…free
Who gave us strength
To overcome
Who gave His all
His only Son
With this new year
Let’s start anew
In humble knowledge
Of needing…You.

“Did you see the blue moon?” So said my sister the night the decade changed.  The occasion:  I, in the middle of the country, had called some of the distant family (Easterners) in the last hour of ‘09, our time.  They had already seen the ball drop and it seemed only appropriate to give a New Year’s greeting and yes, through a portion of industrial skeleton (missing roof) I, between shifts, saw the large glowing orb; not made of cheese, blue or otherwise.  “Two full moons in one month,” was the explanation she gave.  And so the rare occurrence…occurred.

Not a whole lot to say about the new year; the new decade.  Other than the reminder; ours is an inherited greatness.  Ours is a structure, mansion, fortress…already standing when we arrived.  Imperfect? Of course.  Flawed? Naturally.  Yet, in the foundation and in the sustaining timbers there is a strength not recognized by the many who sun themselves on the highest pinnacle and then dare to speak down to us as if “they” were the authors, or at least, the authors heirs. 

So, in this new year, let us truly put first things first.  Let us, indeed, look back to a time long before the current crop of experts and elites and actors began to mold us in “their” image.  Let us pause to linger long over ancient texts, and truths, and tenets and realize that we, like those who penned these...are but flesh.  And, let us understand also, as they did; that in order for flesh to do great, and noble, and lasting things…it has to first touch the divine.  And, in order to do this; in order to stand, to perchance barely reach the finger of God, we have to first…bow very low.  But...will we do this?  Will we abandon our right of kings, to embrace our place as sons and daughters?  Will we be willing to peel back the recent white washed writings to reveal the ancient stone?  I honestly don't know.  In fact, the chances are slim.  But then again...we just had a Blue Moon.

That's what I think.  How about you?  Click comments below...and say.