The Election

Tomorrow we cast votes for our President for the next 4 years. Many have said they are tired of the campaigning, the bickering, the name calling, the ‘ugliness’ as one friend put it…..Well…..So am I…..But here’s the issue…..We are faced with a question of what kind of nation we wish to leave to our children and their children’s children. ….Do we wish it to be a secure nation, one bounded by laws, both laws of men and God?……Or do we wish to leave a chaotic mish-mash of ungodly, unlawful, and wholly un-American ideals with no thought of morality, the Constitution or value of life.
More than Democrat or Republican……More than male or female…..More than history……We have a solemn duty to set our nation back on track to it’s former greatness…..A greatness lacking for some time now…..A greatness where the whole world looked to us and we were proud to say …..We are Americans!!!

 

Advertisements

WHAT A COUNTRY

Growing up as a boy in rural Mississippi, I was told by those who mentored me that as an American, I could be anything that I aspired to be…..Anything!!!!……Having survived to old age, I have found my mentors to have told me the absolute truth…..As Americans we can attempt to become anything we choose……Even if you are inherently evil, the lowest, most disgusting, leader of the World’s leading Criminal Organization posing as a charitable foundation….Even if your morals are debase and you believe in butchering unborn children within hours of birth, even if your friends are pedophiles and your allies are enemies of the USA…….You can STILL be a Democratic Candidate for President!!!!!

In the words of Yakov Smirnoff……”What a Country!!!!”
What a country indeed!!!!

My apology friends for my negative tone of today’s blog but events of this afternoon have left me disgusted with the interworking’s of the Executive Branch of our government. We as citizens live under a wholly different set of laws than those in power.

Jessie Reuben

No doubt a man reaches a point in his life when his greatest treasures are memories of days long gone. Maybe he is still storing away precious times but those he can only touch by reaching back in his mind, are those days held most dear. Today’s story is such a time.

Growing up a Southern boy, I was approaching the teen years when worldly influences can shape or distort a young man’s thinking to the point of no easy recovery. Thankfully for me I had a father who loved me and cared that I become the man God intended….Not what the World was molding me to be….One of the areas of great concern to my father was that of racist tendencies. It was quite common in my era of development, for young men of my age to be wholly lacking in racial sensitivity…..Obviously my father saw this in me and although, by no means perfect himself in this area, my leanings concerned him greatly. One day after a ‘slur’ had so easily rolled from my tongue and slipped my lips, he gave me a good ‘dressing down’ about it. I remember him saying, he thought he had a solution. Little did I know his solution would become one of life’s greatest blessings.

Jessie Reuben was a black man who worked for my father….His ‘Right-Hand Man’ so to speak…. Perhaps I should refer to him as an African American, as is more politically correct…. But in all the years I would know Jessie, I never thought of him as anything other than just plain American. And so it was that no ancestral labels would be necessary… As I mentioned, my sensitivities to other races lacking, my father thought I might value from working around other types/races of people. Therefore, when I was of age, (summer of seventh grade) to begin working a job, of course I worked with my father, a Construction Contractor. ….And in his wisdom, he assigned me as Jessie’s working partner. This first met with some resistance from me, but in the those days, resistance by a teenager was …futile…. And, in all honesty, I was not completely against the idea…..I was curious as though I knew I might actually learn something.

I think daddy’s reasons for placing me under Jessie’s wing were two-fold…..The lesson’s I would learn….and….He knew I would be protected…..A construction site can be and is almost always a dangerous place. Many have met their demise due to mishaps or carelessness. As long as I was with this man, my father knew I would be virtually safe. I will never forget Jessie’s promise to my father ….”Don’t worry Mr. Wilber….I’ll keep him straight!”….His way I think, of saying he would protect me at all costs….I don’t think any of us, certainly not me…. realized the impact this would have on me as a young man.

Jessie Reuben was a ‘real’ man…..He was not huge in statue, but tall and muscular. His arms were like two sticks of rebar molded on granite shoulders, grown thick and tempered from years of heavy labor. When he wielded a wrecking bar in his hand to move an object, either the object moved or… the wrecking bar snapped ….He was that strong…..He always had an ever present cigar in his mouth, no matter the situation. It seemed to be his anchor. When pondering a problem, he shifted the cigar over to one corner of his mouth and with his head cocked to the side, his eyes would gleam…..In a moment the gleam became a twinkle, followed by a wry smile, …. Jessie would declare….”I got an idea!” And of course it would always be a good one!!!

Work ethic and pride in one’s work was one of the greatest lessons I learned from this man. No matter how menial the task, nothing was too invaluable to not be done properly. Both he and my father were insistent that I absorb this fact…..When excavating a foundation for a new building, I worked right along with the others, including Jessie ….By excavating I mean we used a shovel….(Yes the boss’s son was shown no favoritism….He dug ditches!!!)…..When my father came by to inspect, he would show me the difference in Jessie’s footings and mine…..I was always amazed….His were like a work of art…..Sides perfectly perpendicular to a level bottom, properly proportioned in the correct size, as though sculptured by a master… Comparatively mine sometimes more resembled the work of a drunk ground hog. In these things, I admired this man so much more.

Jessie could operate any piece of machinery he came across…..Given time to adjust to its peculiars….. After purchasing a bulldozer, my father became frustrated with finding a dedicated operator. Finally after trying several men, he decided to ask Jessie to try. I don’t think he had ever been on a dozer, but having grown up around farming he had operated tractors and so another piece of equipment, although quite challenging, became a snap to learn……I believe it became his favorite occupation….One of my favorite memories is watching Jessie on a D4 Cat, feet propped, steering clutches in hand, and….an ever present cigar clenched between his teeth…..Not to mention a mile wide smile across his face…..He was in his element.

I mentioned the protective nature of Jessie……I remember one day on a job, an unruly truck driver, not wanting to follow the instructions of a young boss’s son in charge. My post- puberty voice trying to sound authoritative, a confrontation escalating ….until I felt Jessie’s hand on my shoulder as he entered the fray, his voice quite authoritative, sternly admonished the driver…..”You will listen to this young man….Or…You will answer to me!!!!”……Situation solved!….Instructions followed with precision!….Perhaps my guardian angel was this black man revealed by God and made manifest by the wisdom of my own earthly father….I will always wonder.

As with all of life’s days, these were but fleeting vapors…..No matter how dear, life’s lessons visit us, hopefully shaping, molding and moving us in ‘our way’…..My father’s health began to fail….In almost the same time frame, Jessie was found to have Cancer in his throat….The two pillars of our company were in such fragile condition, that it began to crumble and eventually fail…..In the remaining years of their lives both men were only shells of former selves. Jessie drifted away to work other places, I believe mostly as a concrete finisher as long as he was able. Due to my years in college and other concerns I didn’t see him so often. It was always a meeting of two dear friends when we did.

Years passed and I ran into my old guardian/ mentor, …somewhere,… I forget the place, He was talking to a group of his companions. I put my arm around his shoulders and told them…..”This man helped raise me!”……His eyes glistened and he nodded in agreement…..Not many years later he returned the favor when I ran upon him after a failed campaign for political office…..He came to me and in a voice which remained only a whisper…..”I voted for you!”…..This time my eyes glistened and my words failed when trying to tell him how honored I was…..He could never have known that no prize could have replaced such trust he had bestowed upon me…..It did not matter to him that one of my opponents was a black man as he…..He had voted for…..me.

Only a short time later my friend succumbed to the cancer that had ravaged his once herculean body. I did not have a chance to express my gratitude and my love but I know I will some day for we had both spoken of our faith in times past……I actually have envisioned that meeting, perhaps due to my own failing health, perhaps only my vivid imagination…..But…..I see myself arriving in Heaven that day, the magnificent glory round about. I will be joining the heavenly crew assigned to ‘Mansion Construction’ under the supervision of my father who has since gone there himself. He will greet me at the gate with great joy and then say……”There are many folks here who be will happy to see you son…..But don’t tarry long…..There is much work to be done!”…….Then from somewhere in the light a familiar voice will say……

“Don’t worry Mr. Wilber…..I’ll keep him straight!”

1013274_437836579654070_639228415_n

Love……Continued

Wise mentors have said that a ‘picture is worth a thousand words’. Such statements are true in so many cases regarding everyday life, especially to those of us in production of various goods and services. To me there are words that paint a thousand pictures……Words like Mother, Father, Sunrise, Sunset, Beauty, and Peace….The greatest of all I think,… maybe the greatest word in the English language is the word…..Love.

The portraits this word paint would fill all the gallery’s in all the world to over flowing. It is the scene of a crumpled flower in the tender hands of a child ….A squirming puppy held tight against a freckled cheek…..An exhausted mother checking the brow of a sick child in the wee hours…..An over-worked father returning home from a long hard day……A soldier entrenched in defense of those on his flank and in his memory…..All of these and so many more are pictures of Love.

Turning once again to the Word of God, one sees the very essence of Love, the portrait of One who defined it for all eternity. He was alone that day…..Separated from humanity and the Godhead by sins not His own….But ours….Mine!…..Mocked, ridiculed, abandoned, and tortured…..He went freely to His death…..Because He Loved Me!!!!! …..This my friends is Love!….The ultimate portrait of….Love!

To Be Continued…..

“Behold what manner of Love the Father has bestowed on us,  that we should be called the Children of God!” ~~ I John 3:1

1459746_451756691595392_525217402_n

 

Love…..???

In chatting with a newly minted friend, I made the mistake of asking her for a suggestion for today’s blog. She suggested this subject…..Love……Now, obviously my new acquaintance is wholly unacquainted with my background or she would know I am probably the least qualified on this earth to expound on this human emotion…..I would be much better suited for a treatise on ‘Quantum Physics’ or Einstein’s ‘Theory of Relativity’. …..For in discussing these problems I would only seem ignorant……Not both ignorant and foolish!!!!

Love????……Oh My!!!!…..My opening lines might be somewhere between….”DUHHHH!!!!”….and “Lord get me out of this!!!!”…..My total inadequacy on this subject is well documented in the fact that at 60 years of age a ‘Marriage License’ has never been filed in my name……And becoming more unlikely by the day that one ever will be…..A wise man once said that, “It is best to remain silent and be thought a fool….Than to speak and remove all doubt!”…..Well let the doubters be warned…..I’m going to make an attempt……Maybe my last words…..Lol!

The late Peter Marshall described love between a man and woman as “ascending to the highest halls of human happiness”…..Indeed it must be so, for so many pursue, yet so few seem to acquire. Love is that treasure we all seek at one point in our lives. For many such a pursuit is a life-long challenge…..For others a daily blessing…..It is that thing that moves us, molds us, makes us, breaks us, fixes us and everything in between…….When discovered it can carry us to heights that Dr. Marshall described….Unrequited it may carry us to depths beyond the Marianna’s….It is with the latter that I seem to have more experience……Even recently I have proven my oblivious grasp of this field…..But that is another blog.

With regards to my reader’s valuable time, I shall not prolong the agony of my ramblings today but I will turn to Someone who truly knows this subject like no other in this universe…..Our Father in heaven…..I John 4:8 tells us….”He who does not love, does not know God…..FOR GOD IS LOVE.”……Rather than continue I will let us ponder this verse……If we do not read another word in our lives, let us all remember…..God Is Love!!!!

To be continued……

DSCN3393

Is There Really a God?

An interesting experience in my pursuit of those things of ‘cyber-land’ has been to encounter people who do not believe in the existence of God. This blog in no way, is an attempt to belittle them…..It is merely my way of asking for help in explaining my deep conviction of His presence in my life…..My mental ineptitude and my suspect vocabulary aside, I should like to try. Hopefully my sincerity will be of some value in this endeavor….My prayer is that my brothers and sisters of Face Book and elsewhere will join with me, prayerfully in my witness of His holiness and omniscience. 

Where to begin?…..Oh my…..Perhaps the question might be, How to condense His work of some 60 plus years in my own life into a few short sentences. A good start might be recent history….In 1994 chest pains sent me to my doctor and began a long struggle with coronary artery disease (CAD). My cardiologist began discussing trying to live 5 more years,DSCN3397 by changing my life style…..As you an see, I have lived some 22 plus years out of those 5 years…..How does this prove God’s existence?…..To the agnostic it would only show coincidence, luck…..To people of faith it would show that maybe He has kept me here for a reason. Perhaps that reason is to befriend some who need Him in their lives?

To me proving the existence of God is like proving the wind…..You can not see it but you can see it’s affects. I see Him in the smile of a child, the lift of a butterfly from a Zinnia’s bloom, the song of a Whippoorwill on a summer eve, the tears of a grandmother lifting her voice to His praise…..What may seem silly to those of a scientific mind, is the wind that helps me sail through life’s troubled waters on a flimsy timbered vessel of my own building…..When I have lost my way, He is always there lighting my pathway back home.

How do I prove God?…..In short, I can not…..Search my life if you wish. You may see a man of many faults and failures….My failures are most glaring when I have failed Him…..Each time He has picked me up, dusted me off, and set me back on His trail….This I believe with all sincerity….If someone searches for Him truthfully, He will find them and He will reveal Himself in a way that will leave no doubt.

My Father in heaven, give me wisdom to proclaim your love throughout Your creation and to all whom You love. May they see past my feeble abilities and see the greatness of Your glory.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever should believe in Him would have everlasting life.” ~~ John 3:16 

Friends… The Fabric of Our Lives

What is most valuable to you?…..Your bank account?…..If yours is anything like mine, a thief who would steal my account info would be wasting his time…..Might even feel sorry for me and leave a deposit! Lol!…..Is it your stocks?….Bonds?…..Your job perhaps?…..Real Estate?…..Now my meager land holdings are of some sentimental value to me, owing to the fact it has been in my family since prior to the Civil War…..But….What are those things that you hold dear?…..Oh of course our Faith is number one or should be. Our relationship with God is of utmost importance…..But what or who, I should say do we place most value, that give our lives true meaning, especially at our advanced age?…….Say it with me……FRIENDS!!!!

When you have traversed as far as I have down life’s trail, it finally occurs to you that all those financial gains you worked so many hours putting away are meaningless if you  have not earned at least one true friend……Mark Twain well said that a man who had one friend, was a rich man…..I agree…..I count myself very rich for I have many friends…..Even richer knowing that I am related to some of my closest friends. Some I have gained in my online experience, where many say friendships are not real, only imaginary figments of cyber-space…..To such I say ‘Hogwash!!!!’……I have many dear friends whom I have never met personally.

One of the saddest experiences of my life has been seeing old friendships whither away. Due to neglect perhaps, or misuse, even an ill-advised word, or comment….however unintentional….. the fabric of friendship can diteriate, or be torn. When that happens, the ‘fabric’ is hard if not impossible to restore to its original condition. It is not to say that it is of a lesser value but…..different, somehow…..Maybe those friendships that have endured hardships or tears, will be even stronger, and of a greater value than ever before. We can only pray that is the case when it happens to us.

May God protect our friendships. Help us recognize true value and appreciation for our friends. Give us strength to bridle our tongues and the wisdom to seek reconciliation for those relationships that may be damaged.

“A new command I give to you, that you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” ~~ John 13:34

DSCN3352

Today’s Reflections on Current Events

I have had a real struggle this election season. I guess you have noticed by the tone of some of my rants. I would apologize again but…..I really don’t feel it…..I am angry, disgusted, even disheartened at times…..How can the once greatest nation on earth stumble?…..How can we stoop to such depths of absolute iniquity and Godlessness even among those who lead us?….What godlessness you may ask?…..One of the most ungodly facets of society, especially political society, that we have come to accept,… even expect…..Is the lies!!!!….We live in an age of fraud!!!!

In my humble opinion, a human being more closely resembles Satan himself, when he/ she lies! The most evil of all lies are those tinged with a hint of truth, so that they resemble honor just enough that we accept them as truth…..When setting the cornerstone for our Nation, the founders were in agreement on one thing….A Democracy, no matter how coveted it may be, can not exist outside the confines of a moral society…..It will die when starved of truth and right living participants….When those participants gleefully accept leadership from those who make a habit of spewing lies, and living fraudulent life-styles, then the destruction is imminent.

A Face Book friend commented on his oath taken upon entry into the US Army this morning. He stated that the Oath has no expiration date. My friend is quite correct. It is a blood oath that expires only at the moment of our deaths….The clause, in which we swore to uphold, protect and defend the Constitution is a scarlet thread written in the blood of heroes past, to which our own blood might be mingled if necessary….I do not believe our current crop of leaders understand their oath, no more than they understand morality, or the underlying foundation of these United States….

It is time ‘We The People’ give them a refresher in what it means!!!!

DSCN5122

Meditate on These Things

No doubt the World is a mean place right now. Actually it has been for some time, but our various ‘connections’ keep us informed faster, longer. It may seem there is no escape from bad news. I find myself getting caught up in it, maybe even being an agent of it at times, with my political comments. While it may be a good thing to sound the alarm when ‘the enemy’ is at the gate, we should not dwell on the evil, lest it become part of us. God tells us in His Word…
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” ~ Philippians 4:8
I really want to get to a point in my walk with Him that I will be able to see past the evil, the chaos, the fog of daily cares…..And know… His beauty is always there. His call is still a noble endeavor. His people are still His and they are loved. His Gospel is still the good news and a virtuous life style is still to be sought. Last but not least…..He is worthy of my praise!….It would appear, I have many reasons to be grateful….And to be more positive.
DSCN2831