Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Dear Reader, this post was written a couple years back.  The the same.

From “The Stone
(by R.P.Edwards)

At last I learn
What I’ve been told
That “treasure” lives
But not in gold
So to the stone
I come to see
And hear the words
“Remember me!”

The journey of the song began nearly twenty years ago. A recent arrival to “flyover country” my young family (just four of us then) joined a church that would, a couple times a year, rent a “memorial hall” for the purpose of holiday gatherings. On one such occasion (perhaps the first) I noticed the plaques, the inscriptions…and the stones. I don’t know what steered me, ever so slightly, away from my obsession with “self,” --perhaps the benefit of age, or some lesson my “Pop” had dropped into my subconscious decades earlier-- whatever the reason, I began to be somewhat appreciative that these names, these many, many names…represented young men whose lives were cut short…deprived of family, fortune, heritage…that I, bloated from a Thanksgiving plate, could carry on. I remember, vaguely, trying to convey some of this sentiment to my two young men. How much they heard…I know not.

Fast forward a few years. The fiftieth anniversary of the end of World War II was quickly approaching. I picked up my Appalachian instrument (autoharp) and composed a song that expressed my diluted sentiment (diluted, because my motives are not always “pure”). Well, nothing came of it (perhaps nothing was supposed to) and now, fourteen years later, with the aid of a technology not easily accessible at that time, “The Stone” is born anew. If you haven’t viewed it yet…now would be a good time.

This entry will be posted on Memorial Day . I probably won’t watch the parade…but I will remember them. I, most likely, won’t attend the ceremonies…but I will remember them. I won’t be terribly caught up with the “feelings” of the moment…but I will remember them. Instead of pausing this one brief season, I will, as God enables, stand daily--in their stead-- for their “values.” No, not the manufactured and massaged values of Academia, or Hollywood, or a wayward Judiciary. But the values of the Marine who, clutching his pierced chest, knelt into the black sands of Iwo Jima and then stood up to take the hand of his Lord. The values of the sailors whose lifeless bodies sank beneath the waves at the Battle of Coral Sea. Their bodies succumbed to the depths, but their spirits rose unhindered. The values of the thousands, upon thousands, upon thousands who knew that courage began at an alter with a bowed head and a resolute heart. Yes, it “is” time to remember them. But more than that…it is time…to “be” them. 

The "video"  The Stone


Thursday, May 26, 2011

The face of Israel

Must do’s
(by R.P.Edwards)

Wipe your shoes off
On the mat
Brush your teeth
And pet the cat
Pick your clothes up
Tidy be
Daughter, son
Now heed my plea
Look both ways
On a busy street
Take only as much
As you can eat
With lips together
Chew your food
Daughter, son
Now, don’t be rude
Say “please,” and “thank you”
Stay in school
Live your lives
By the Golden Rule
And there’s one more thing
To aid your way
As you do your deeds
As you kneel to pray
Always, always
Daughter, son
Always, always
Never done
Always, always
Always, always
Always, always
Always, always
Always, always
Always, always
Support Israel

 Now the LORD said to Abram, Go forth from your country,
And from your relatives, And from your father’s house,
To the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation,
And I will bless you, And make your name great;
And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.  (Genesis 12:1-3)

Saw the PM of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, address a joint session of Congress a couple days back.  I like this guy.  He’s got the garb of a statesman, but the heart and substance and resume of a warrior.  I liked the message.  Here’s a few excerpts:

    “Israel is not what is wrong about the middle east.  Israel is what is right about the middle east.”

    “In Judea and Samaria the Jewish people are not foreign occupiers.”

    “No distortion of Israel can deny the four thousand year old bond between the Jewish people and the Jewish land.”

Anyway, here’s a c-span link: Address to Congress

For the fun of it I looked to see if perhaps Mr. Netanyahu had been born in the U.S. (in fact he’s the first Israeli PM actually born in Israel).  I figured, since the conservative field for president is in flux, maybe, if he had dual citizenship…he could run.  Nope. 


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Coming Storm

Weather Preacher
(by R.P.Edwards)

“Twenty minutes”
The preacher said
“The storm will come
And leave you…dead.
Unless, of course,
You’ve built “the room,”
To hide your life,
And cheat…the tomb”

It’s been a couple days since Death’s scythe dipped down and reaped at least 117 souls from Joplin, Missouri; a city named after a Methodist minister. Ironically (and I’m not trying to be, in any way, insensitive or callous), but the very day after the “false” prediction of the apocalypse occurred; on that Sunday, perhaps minutes or hours after some joked about the error (a natural thing to do); on that very day, over one hundred of our fellow Americans…met their personal end, in a violent, tragic, merciless…way.

Listen: the story involving a Midwestern town in pain will, for most of us, quickly fade.  Even now, a couple days later, we‘ve entered the “heroic populace” stage.  The “we will rebuild” stage.  And the devastating blow of May 22, 2011--that brought a city to it’s knees, and a nation to tears--will, like the punishing body blow…slowly begin to heal.  Some, of course, will relive the terror…everyday.  But for most, with time, the moment…will fade.

Here’s my point:  If we “know” a problem, a difficulty, a destructive “event” is coming; we’ll prepare for it (if we’re wise at all).  I guarantee you, if the victims of this “storm” had known, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that a tornado was coming; they could have prepared.  And, although we’re good about teaching our kids how to live in society, and get an education, and get a job to fill their lives with time-consuming stuff.  Do we, dear reader, prepare ourselves, and them, for the “on the horizon” storm that is heading our way?  Honestly, shouldn’t we prepare for this “certain” event?  Don’t we owe it to ourselves, our spouse, our children…to prepare for what MUST take place?

Alright.  Enough of that.  Different fare to come.  But, if you’ve stayed with me this far, could you please activate the youtube link to follow?  It’s the recording of the few in the convenience store’s cold-storage who were faced with death.  This crucible reduced them to their core; to the place where all peripherals were immediately shed, and the essentials of life and living…were brought to the forefront.  Hopefully it won't take "near" death, for us to prepare for the real thing.Trapped


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Randy Savage, Doonesbury, and Judgment Day

It happens
(by R.P.Edwards)

A broken clock
Is exactly right
Two times
Every day
So with the words
Think it not absurd
When a pearl comes with
the bray

Edgar C. Whisenant, (deceased) had a modicum of notoriety twenty three years ago when he pushed the idea (hard!) that the Rapture of the Church would take place in 1988.  The Rapture--a word not found in scripture, but used to describe the event when believers, living and dead, rise to meet Jesus in the air--marks the point (depending on your eschatological view) when things will get terribly bad on earth, culminating with the Lord’s return to set things in order.  I remember, vaguely, the message of Mr. Whisenant, but, for the reasons given in--of all places--the Doonesbury Cartoon (yesterday and today) I didn’t give the prediction much weight.  And then, as today, the “certainty” proved to be…without substance.

Enter Randy Savage, aka The Macho Man.  I remember, nearly three decades ago, watching the antics of this pro-wrestler as he made his rounds in the WWF.  Well, a couple days back he lost his final match.  All the details aren’t in, but be it a heart attack, or the unforgiving tree (or a combination), Randy Savage is dead.

I’ll not belabor the point, but death, for all of us…is coming.  We can ignore it; block it out of our minds; pretend it will make an exception in our case; but…it is nearer today than yesterday.  And though many will scoff (perhaps rightly so) at the misplaced zeal of the “prophet,” there will be, for each of us, an ending of this life, and an entering into another.  Oh, our demise may not come with an apocalypse, but the end result will be the same…a face to face encounter with the God of the Universe.  And may I, in this thoughtful moment, point as many as will, to the “Of first importance” link in the upper right.

Thanks to the Doonesbury site for the comic Doonesbury

And, thanks to Bible Gateway for scriptural assistance.  Here’s a reference for the “rapture” Rapture and  The Judgment


Thursday, May 19, 2011


(by R.P.Edwards)

We mourned for the child
And unloved
Cast to the pavement
An innocent…dove
And we wept
And we wondered
And spoke the word… “Why?”
But we shed not a tear
For the millions
That die

Now he has a name…Camden.  But for nearly a week the precious child, lifeless and left on the side of a Maine road, was without identity.  And, upon seeing his frail form (albeit computer enhanced) and drawing on all the emotional ties that each of us have with those of his kind, we felt a sense of loss, grief…mourning.

It, once again, comes down to the “knowing.” Because we “know” them (or someone like them) we give them weight and worth.  And, although Camden’s mother may very well have had a break-down of sorts; her decision, or the accidental excess that led to the boy’s death…is no excuse.  Perhaps, after all the particulars are learned, a bit of mercy will be applied to her sentence.  But, make no mistake, Camden; the person; the innocent, precious child…is dead.  And he cannot be replaced.  He was, on earth…unique.  And now, in the arms of the Savior, he receives the love that each child, without exception…deserves.

A reminder: it was the decision of seven black-robed mortals that said the birth canal was the definer of humanity.  Nearly four decades ago these mere men signed the death warrants for fifty million Camdens that, for whatever reason, were, and are unloved and unwanted.  And, though these children do not end up on a rural road, they, nevertheless, in passing, fill the arms of the Savior.  The very one who took time out to hold the innocents, and remind his religious followers, “the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

And so, as, long ago, an ignorant nation was taught from the northern pulpits that Slavery was an evil in the eyes of God; Oh, that we enlightened Christians and ministers would pause just long enough from our prayer, and fasting, and seeking His face; just long enough to “do” what he did, “And He took them in His arms and began blessing them.” (Mark 10:16)


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sighed out

Sighed out
(by R.P.Edwards)

My sigher’s wore out
Used to excess
Hourly utterances
Days, without rest
And shadows of doom
I need a new sigher
And a dark, padded room


C’mon Arnold.  Really? 

And so, yet another role model is shown to be…clay.  Former Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, of “Caleefornia” admits to fathering a child with one of the household staff.  It took ten years to admit it, and wife, Maria Shriver, upon learning of the affair, packed up her things…and left.

And then there’s the “alleged” wandering of the IMF chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who thought room service included the chamber maid.  It’s said this fellow was a possible candidate for the top spot in  France.

Listen, I understand there is sin in the sinews; malady in the makeup.  And yes, with the falling, there can be forgiveness (enter Newt Gingrich), but can we at least try to put a leash on our fallen nature? Can we (the universal “all”) strive to look beyond our immediate gratification and see the consequence of our choosing? Lord, help us. (sigh)

(image from "google images")


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mike, I get it

To Hear
(by R.P.Edwards)

How precious is
The silent heart
That listens
For His voice
With mute to mind
And selfish flesh
To hear
The Master’s choice
And heeding, run
The chosen path
Though flesh and mind protest
And knowing that
The words from Him
Will always lead
To Best

Like many, I was looking forward to Governor Huckabee’s announcement as to his decision whether to run for president (my hope)…or not.  I arrived home a little past time and wife (she wouldn’t spill the beans) was kind enough to have the recording cued up.  And, although his beginning remarks pointed towards “yea,” his conclusion, after explaining his efforts to seek the divine will…was, and is… “nay.”

I’ll admit it; I’m a bit disappointed.  But, with the explanation…I am satisfied.  Here’s a snippet of his remarks that I wrote down: “I don’t expect everyone to understand this, but I’m a believer and a follower of Jesus Christ, and that relationship to me is far more important to me than any political office…the decision…is a spiritual one.”

Well, Governor, I, for one, get it.  There have been many times in my own life when the divine leading pointed a different way than the loud exhortations of the eyes and the intellect.  And, following the “logical” course…I suffered.  You see, dear reader (and you probably know this), the view from “above” is far reaching.  How foolish not to seek the one…who sees.  And, I refuse to believe it was anything other than this Higher intervention…that persuaded Mike Huckabee.

I found it amusing (as this is written Sunday a.m.) that one broadcast pundit seemed befuddled that Governor Huckabee, leading in so many areas of the nation, would bow out.  That, sir, falls under Governor Huckabee’s disclaimer: “I don’t expect everyone to understand this…”

P.S. Mike, did the Lord say anything about V.P.?


Friday, May 13, 2011

Ill Illinois

(by R.P.Edwards)

Death to babies
Life…for fiends
On its head
It seems
Once again
A hostage
O Lincoln rise
And set us

Christopher Coleman wanted out of his marriage.  He wanted out...bad!  Trouble is (was) he was head of security for Joyce Meyer ministries and, since there was a “no divorce” clause in his contract, giving the wife walking papers would mean losing his six figure income.  And besides, let’s face it, divorce means child support, strained connections, messy life-long lingering loose ends.  So, Mr Coleman came up with a plan; a way to wipe the slate clean and start fresh with his new honey.  Unfortunately, horribly, almost inconceivably, this “plan” involved murdering, with his own hands, his wife, and two pre-teen sons.  Incredibly…he imagined he wouldn’t get caught.

So, knowing the grisly details, surely this vile act--even if others fall short--surely “this” act warrants the maximum penalty…death.  But, perhaps recognizing that Illinois Governor, Pat Quinn, would commute the sentence from “kill him” to “feed, clothe, and care for him for fifty years,” the judge gave the defendant three life terms instead.  Driving home the fact that in Illinois, where thousands upon thousands cross our borders yearly because it’s so darn easy to have an abortion here; yes, in “The Land of Lincoln” heinous murderers of non-babies…have the indisputable…“right to life.”


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Joe Bastardi ROCKS!

Joe knows
(by R.P.Edwards)

Joe Bastardi
Shining knight
Armed with knowledge
Joins the fight
Slaying dragons
PC’s spawn
Global Warming

Joe Bastardi.  He’s a weather guy.  Not the “Here’s today’s forecast” kind of predictor, but rather, “Here’s the weather pattern for the coming season/year…and here’s why.”   What made Mr J stand out to me, however, is not his right-on analysis (he predicted the tornado mayhem in the south a few weeks before the destruction) but his unabashed “anti-global warming” stance.  For instance, when former Vice-president Al Gore said the following on sixty minutes (march 2008): 

 ..I think that those people (global warming skeptics) are in such a tiny, tiny minority now with their point of view, they're almost like the ones who still believe that the moon landing was staged in a movie lot in Arizona and those who believe the world is flat. That demeans them a little bit, but it's not that far off

Joe responded in part:  I am absolutely astounded that someone who refuses to publicly debate anyone on this matter and has no training in the field narrated a movie where frames of nuclear explosions were interspersed in a subliminal way in scenes of droughts and flood, among other major gaffes, can say these things and then have them accepted... by anyone.

You see, Joe, studying weather patterns and applying logic to the historic data; comes up with accurate predictions.  Accurate enough to have businesses coming to his new WeatherBell consulting firm in order to help them manage their future “risk” associated with what’s comin’ down the meteorological pike.  And, since Mr Bastardi doesn’t carry the need to prove, or justify a Politically Correct anti-carbon forecast; his body of work is free from the inevitable “lean,” and his record, quite frankly, speaks for itself.  And dear reader, at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter how many titles are in front or initials behind a name; or if the whole world “sees” the King’s imaginary cloths.  The truth is…his royal highness is naked; and thank God there are a few fearless fellows not afraid to says so.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Banana bread, Bin Laden, and Obama

Bananas we
(by R.P.Edwards)

Five distraught bananas
Crying in the bowl
Past the hours for picking
Time had taken toll
“We’ll soon be in the garbage”
Each mournful member said
And then the Master chose them
And exclaimed, “Banana bread!”

It was a storied franchise, and a stunning victory.  The winning play; the goal-line crossing step was, like the upward bobbing point of the iceberg, the result of a great unseen and usually unheralded structure that strained in the pressured depths to allow the smallest part…to shine in the sun.  And, appropriately, at the post-game podium, the quarterback--the star of the game--gave the credit due to “all” those responsible for the win and…it took a while.

Kudos to President Obama for making the right decision.  There, I said it.  Again, I have no animosity towards the chief executive and, given the choice of “A” or “B;” he chose the one that worked out…marvelously.  But, was Mr Obama responsible for the layer upon layer upon layer of this “tower” that, built and maintained by others, allowed the commander-in-chief to place the capstone? Of course not.  Nevertheless, it worked out well.  The murderous leader, Osama Bin Laden…is dead.  And the world is better for it. 

So, because of this shining victory, will the masses be swayed to reelect President Obama in 2012? Time will tell.  However, let us remember, “Presidents” are supposed to make right decisions and, as far as the economy, energy policy, moral issues (i.e. traditional marriage, abortion) and perhaps a few other “areas” I can’t think of at the moment; his record, in my opinion, tends to fall in the other column. 

During the writing of this blog I heard an interview of David Beamer, father of 9/11 hero, Todd Beamer (who led passengers of United flight 93 to counterattack terrorists, saying the now famous phrase “Let’s Roll”) by Martha MacCallum.  She asked the elder Beamer his thoughts concerning the recent events and also why he had declined the offer to meet with the President along with forty-nine other 9/11families.  Following is an excerpt :

“With the glorious news of Osama Bin Laden’s demise at our hands; that was wonderful. I feel some chagrin now, though, about how the rest of its being handled, and frankly it started May Day, twenty-eleven, when the president announced to all of us what had happened; the excessive use of the personal pronoun that he used in his remarks; I really felt that was the beginning of the commander-in-chief putting too much spotlight on himself; taking too much credit for what these remarkable Americans had done, and of course it’s only now been accelerated to a greater degree in the media. You know, it’s being hailed as one of the greatest war-time decisions; bold and gutsy. And quite frankly, under the facts and circumstances, I think it was anything but that…and to use this decision as to wipe the slate clean and say, “See what our President really does have massive leadership skills and experience and this proves the point.” It does not. …and by the way, what forty navy seals and the intelligence agency did in this wonderful and courageous event does not change what his demonstrated policies and practices have been.”

Obviously I omitted much, but I believe the context is accurate and I invite and encourage the reader to watch the whole interview (done this day, May 5, 2011) when it becomes available on YouTube or elsewhere.

One more thing: the “banana” poem began in our kitchen a few days ago.  Five overripe bananas…destined for the trash.  Armed with the knowledge that I have a teenage daughter who willingly takes on culinary challenges; I retrieved a cook book; looked up a banana bread recipe and, placing said formula and browning rejects in plain sight; well, let’s just say…the bread is delicious.  I’d like to think that President Obama; though many of his past decisions have been, let’s say “unsavory;” let’s hope that the recent “right” decision…leads to many more.