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Archive for September, 2017

There were lots of actors, but few “stars.”  Some of the best actors and actresses never achieved fame outside their peers, yet were some of the most-needed folks on set: character actors.  A few, like George “Gabby” Hayes or Pat Brady, to name a couple, garnered a following, but for the most part they “just” supported the stars who, without them as foils, would have been “just actors.”  That, today, anyone who gets more than a couple of lines is called a “movie star” is balderdash. Piffle. Twaddle.

When I began watching football back in the sixties, the idea that “There is no ‘I’ in ‘TEAM'” was pretty much true.  Even more, teams were comprised of individuals who mostly thought, “Wait. You mean I can play this game I love and you’ll pay me too?”  Most had to have off-season “careers,” even if it was slopping the hogs back on the farm.

Both the NFL and Hollywood seem to think that they have become integral to our society – but they have not.  While America entertains itself to death, the pedestals upon which we, collectively, have placed these idols are wearing away, and these images we have erected are proving to be, upon closer examination, hollow and tarnished, rusting, having been made from material with elemental impurities that has not once passed through the crucible of life to be refined.

It is this conferring of star status (and the accompanying mindless contracts), not the current hullabaloo, which had already caused me to eschew most movies and professional sports.

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Part-time Christians

Part-time Christians.

We wouldn’t call ourselves that, surely, but how true is it of us?

Not only are we born into this world, but with each succeeding generation, there is “more world” to be born into.  Our dependency upon the technologies from our workaday worlds — sometimes a fascination with the technology itself, sometimes simply a means to an end — often replaces what should be time given to introspection, family, and to quietly seeking God (to give ourselves the benefit of the doubt) with more works: “doing stuff for God.”

Indeed, if others are to be brought into and sustained in the Kingdom of God, we should be “doing something” toward that end, but are we?  To borrow from Pastor Forbe Carlson, “Just enough is not enough.”

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Originally from https://hellopoetry.com/PluviophileSr/

To football players who take a knee :

To the NFL players who took a knee during the playing of the National Anthem.

So, you want to take a knee?

Take a trip to Valley Forge in January. Hold a musket ball in your fingers and imagine it piercing your flesh and breaking a bone or two. There won’t be a doctor or trainer to assist you until after the battle. Wait your turn while listening to the screams of pain from the wounded.
Then take a knee.

Go to Normandy where man after American man stormed the beach, dodging dead bodies and withering machine gun fire,…the very sea stained with American blood. Imagine that your fellow players are your dead brothers in arms.
Then take a knee.

Take a knee in the sweat soaked jungles of Vietnam. Over 60,000 Americans died in those jungles.There was no playbook or million dollar contracts for doing your job, but they understood what our flag represented. When they came home, they were protested by their fellow Americans.
Then take a knee while they spit on you.

Take another knee in the blood drenched sands of Fallujah in 110 degree heat..Trade in your pads for a Kevlar helmet and battle dress…You’ll have to stay hydrated, but there won’t be anyone to squirt Gatorade into your mouth. And watch out for those IEDs when you take a knee.

There’s a lot of places to take a knee. Americans have given their lives all over the world. When you use the banner under which they fought as a source for your protest, you dishonor the memories of those who bled for the very freedoms you have. That’s what the red stripes mean. It represents the blood of those who spilled it defending your liberty.

So while you’re on your knee, pray for those that came before you, not on manicured fields striped and printed with numbers to announce every inch of game yardage…but on nameless hills and bloodied beaches and sweltering forests and bitter cold mountains…every inch marked by an American life lost serving that flag you protest.

No cheerleaders, no announcers, no coaches, no fans…just American men and women on the land, air, and sea, delivering the real fight against those who chose to harm us..so you would have the opportunity to dishonor their service by “taking a knee.”

You have no clue what it took to get you where you are…but your “protest” is duly noted. Not only is it disgraceful to a nation, it points to your ingratitude for those who chose to defend you under that banner that will still wave long after your stats and game jersey are forgotten…

If you really feel the need to take a knee, come with me to church on Sunday and we’ll both kneel before Almighty God. We’ll thank Him for preserving this country for as long as He has. We’ll beg forgiveness for both of our ingratitude for all He has provided us. We’ll appeal to Him for understanding and wisdom. We’ll pray for liberty and justice for all…because He is the one who provides those things.

But no protesting allowed. There will only be gratitude for His provision and a plea for His continued grace and mercy on the land of the free and the home of the brave.

May He continue to bless America, the ignorant and selfish sinners we all are. What an incredible gift He has given us!

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Once Upon A Pie

Back in the early fifties when most ladies wore one-piece bathing suits which covered their buttocks and their breasts – and everything in between, when prepubescent children wore either swimming trunks or simply their underpants, and when “suntan lotion” was mostly baby oil with a tropical fragrance, the developed portion of Ocean City, Maryland, went up to perhaps 20th Street and the Boardwalk. One of the first motels (for before then, most accommodations were in rooming houses) was the Sea Scape Motel, at 16th and Boardwalk. (It’s gone now, replaced by a Hyatt Place, to open in 2018.) Back in those days, for a day trip a family brought their drinks and food in their Skotch Kooler, or (if they were really flush) bought hamburgers or hot dogs on the boardwalk. But for weekends or longer their choices were enhanced with diners such as the one downstairs in the Sea Scape. T’was there I formed my first crush – on Irene.

The first time I recall seeing her, I’d been given some money to go get myself some lunch. I climbed up on the rotating stool at the counter, perched on my knees, and spent some time trying to get the uniformed waitress’ attention away from some guy who was “talking her up” at the other end of the counter, but to no avail. I grew impatient with being overlooked, stretched to my best height, and let out a wolf whistle in her direction. “Dat,” as the cartoon character said, “dood it!” Smiling, she came down the counter and attended to me. I asked for a piece “of that pumpkin pie there,” in the case on the counter, got it, and enjoyed every bite. It was so good, I asked for another.

“So,” she leaned in and asked, “You liked that pumpkin pie, did you?”

“Sure did. Best I ever ate.”

“Well, Honey,” I felt myself blushing. “I’ll get you another piece, but I gotta tell you, it’s not pumpkin, it’s sweet potato pie.”

I pondered this revelation for, oh, maybe three seconds. “Sweet potato, huh?”

“‘fraid so.”

“Tasted like punkin to me. Gimme another piece, please.”

After that, when we went to Ocean City, I’d seek out Irene. We became friends, though I have no recollection of her looks or her age. Then one day, she was gone. Threw me over for some truck driver. Maybe it was that guy from the first day. I was crushed (by my crush – see what I did there?) for a time, but I got over her.

And I’ve seldom had that good a piece of sweet potato pie since.

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