Meditations of a christizen (christian-citizen)upon today's topics.
|I, Brother James, cultivated through my imagination and birthed via writing instruments (pen, laptop, etc) 'The Word Courier's Journal'. It is one of several literary efforts so conceived to include the "word", the mind altering, eye opening, life saving gospel of Jesus Christ into the every day conversation on those things deemed relevant to those readers who stumble upon this column. I and all other followers of the Lord are called to witness this message across the globe or at the very least to those around us. Jesus did say "Go therefore and teach all nations..." (see Matthew 28:19 KJV Holy Bible) Here lies a modest attempt to introduce the unknowing people to the Lord and immerse they who know Him in discussion with respect to His outlook on all that matters.|
|Isaiah 55:10-11 KJV Holy Bible
10) For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returned not tither, but watereth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11) So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
Ezekiel 12:25 KJV Holy bible
For I am the Lord: I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass: it shall be no more prolonged : for in your days, O rebellious house, will I say the word and will perform it, saith the Lord God.
Scriptures that refer to when God speaks do so in a direct assertive manner. Words that denote limited, conditional, unfinished and uncertain qualities are not used in these verses. Take note that the words except, if, unless, but and maybe are not used in either Isaiah 55:11 or Ezekiel 25:12. The meanings conveyed by these words have no place with respect to the power of God’s word.
Instead, words such as shall and will dominate the discourse. Shall and will together account for more than one of every ten words depicted in these scriptures. It’s made clear here that what God said will happen. People who claim God revealed something that doesn’t happen blaspheme the Lord.
The Scriptures also read “God is not a man that he should lie; neither the son of man that he should repent:…” (Numbers 23:19 KJV) Yet, recently a glut of church leaders claim that God told them Donald Trump would win the 2020 election. He didn’t. Donald Trump clearly lost in his bid for reelection as president.
Kenneth Copeland, Paula White and Pat Robertson lead a contingent of those who say the Lord revealed a Donald Trump victory to them. Mr. Copeland can laugh all he wants to and as crazily as he wants to, but the joke’s on him. Paula White speaks in tongues (or so it appears) but lies on God.
It’s not entirely out of the question someone told them Donald Trump would win the 2020 election. In fact, it’s believable that a spirit (of sorts)revealed their misinformation to them. However, given the “prophecy’s” failure to be fulfilled it’s clear the someone wasn’t the Lord and the spirit wasn’t His.
|Matthew 6:25 … Take no thought for your life what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.
Matthew 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not neither do they reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are you not much better than they?
I make it a point to feed the birds and occasional stray cats first thing in the morning. The feeding is first before other morning rituals. I distribute bird feed before my morning coffee and before breakfast on those days that I engage in the a.m. meal. I remind myself; feed the birdies feed the kitties.
I’ve been doing this routine for at least the past 20 years when my residence has included a yard or some kind of green space. I’m inclined to keep indoor plants when my abode is bound by concrete (or gravel) on all sides. When able I feed birds and sometimes cats looking for a morsel.
Mind you, I don’t have birds or cats as pets. These are not my birds or my cats. Feeding the birds is something I just feel like doing. In fact, I don’t even mind the squirrels getting some. I put much of the bird feed on the ground to include them. Raccoons or opossums sometimes eat what I put out but I’m not trying to feed them.
The fact is birds, squirrels and cats alike don’t depend upon my benevolence. They’ll eat with or without my contribution. I have never known a neighborhood's bird, squirrel or cat population to starve upon my leaving it. They still eat. I just make it easier for them when I’m there.
The Lord uses me to help some of his creatures out. He supplies their needs before I move into their area and after I leave. I am so glad the Lord favors me even more so than my feathered and furry friends. And I might add that goes for the few of you who will read this.
|“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 KJV Holy Bible
I am still alive. Praise God! I don’t limit this sentiment to the pandemic we face. I am aware at 58 years on earth, that many people I’ve known born within five years of me (before and after) are deceased today. And this knowledge has been with me going back some 30 years.
A cousin and brother in-law have tested positive for covid-19 since the pandemic began. Both are essential workers who can’t work from home. Both survived. In addition, three more relatives have been required to quarantine at some point this year. To my knowledge my church family has remained safe from this disease.
Change in direction
The whole world should be thankful that Sen. Joe Biden is President Elect. America has learned (most of us anyway) that who we put in charge matters. I thank God first and voters next for sending Donald Trump back to private citizen status. Now, he can be charged for all manner of crimes and sent from the Whitehouse to the big house.
I normally publish ‘Word Courier’ entries on Friday mornings. However, I waited for a specific outcome before writing about this reason to be grateful. That is, I made sure the blessing took place first. It did: Iowa 26- Nebraska 20.
The Hawkeyes’ victory is our sixth straight in the annual Black Friday bash for the right to hoist the Heroes Trophy given to the game winner. I would be remiss not to thank God for my school’s safety in this crisis. However, the state of Iowa’s pandemic numbers is concerning.
I am thankful for our smaller version of the family gathering this year. I celebrated with four other people this year. Good eating, good conversation and good fellowship but less of us. For those we’re not with, keep in mind Covid-19 isn’t spread through phone lines.
We should realize by this time everything is not going back to normal again. And for that matter it should not. The world had much wrong with it entering 2020. This crisis gives us a chance to fix those ails in ways we may never thought of before. We must adapt and be thankful.
|I look forward to another "meeting" of our local writers’ group this Thursday. It will involve an at least a partial live element to it. Some among us (but not I) will meet live social distancing and masked as required. I’ll tune in on the zoom end.
A recent ‘Word Courier’ entry, “Magical Moment”, (Oct 16,2020) spoke of how I shined as the better half of a sousaphone playing duo opening my high school band’s performance at Disneyland. That moment doesn’t happen if not for a decision made while still a junior high student. It was then that I accepted my middle school music director’s invite to switch from trombone to tuba.
The second item on my writing group’s recent “10 Things People May Not Know About Me” assignment is about my junior high experience. It reads as follows:
“I reminisce about junior high days with much more affection than I do with high school. We had school dances, annual movie musicals and sports. A social studies class broadened my horizons by introducing me to “Current Events” magazine. The Patty Hearst drama, Vietnam and Watergate made their way to my mid “70s adolescent consciousness. Also, a favorite language arts teacher, MS McEwen assigned a term paper of sorts to my eighth-grade class. This awakened the writer in me.”
Unfortunately, for whatever reason the writer in me went into hibernation. I’m not sure exactly when. The burning to write is back with me now but oh how I wish that flame never extinguished
|Who matters. That’s not a question. It’s a statement. And, a statement of fact at that. We instinctively know that who is chosen to do anything of consequence is important. We understand this fact of life early on.
Youth at the local parks’ basketball courts get this. They choose teams among themselves based upon who can play best. When unfamiliar with other hoopsters’ abilities they select based upon who they expect to play the best. Once the games begin, they soon learn who helps them win (succeed) and who doesn’t.
As the young grow older the choice as to who grows in importance. For adults who is chosen for what can have life altering outcomes. Last week’s election demonstrated what kids in sandlots playgrounds and other play settings have already learned. Who matters.
The incumbent Republican , Donald Trump led a wearying spectacle of bizarre antics during his chaotic reign as P.O.T.U.S. (President of the United States) The most recent disaster was/is his mishandling of the Covid-19 virus pandemic. Voters turned out in record numbers to change course.
The congressional races fared better for the Republican party. Though still a minority, they actually gained seats in the House of Representatives. This implies that Donald Trump did not lose because of his republicaness for lack of a better word but rather due to his Trumpness. This was personnel. Voters rejected him not his party.
The Trump bluster succeeded in 2016 against Hillary Clinton. The same bravado failed versus Sen. Joe Biden. She stood on facts whereas “sleepy Joe” expressed his faith. Hillary crunched numbers whereas slow Joe communicated values. And most important, Hillary Clinton projected clever whereas Joe Biden promised contrast.
America’s national Democratic party is oft slow to apply the lesson that they should’ve learned as children. Winning elections is like winning on the playground. Who is selected for your team matters.
|The University of Wisconsin will host the University of Illinois later today to kick off the Big 10 Conference football season. The remaining schools begin play tomorrow. So, the fourteen Big 10 schools scattered across eleven states begin navigating the public health minefield that is crowds in the thousands watching a full contact sport during an outbreak of a deadly highly contagious virus. What can possibly go wrong?
I as an Illinois native/resident and University of Iowa alum usually look forward to this. But not this year. For the good of everyone, I steeped in black and gold allure would rather forego the pleasures Iowa football brings to me. Three Big 10 schools, Illinois, Ohio State and my alma mater have experienced some of the nation’s largest Covid outbreaks. These places made it to the top ten in the wrong category.
I get it other sports are playing. I watched the first game of the World Series. I viewed a sampling of Jimmy “buckets” and King James in the NBA finals. I also enjoyed some playoff hockey and Sunday night NFL games among other things. College football however is a different beast.
Collegiate football can’t exist in a bubble. A football game between two schools without fans in the stands and tailgating in the parking lot aint college football. For that matter, my school’s Iowa Wave tradition demands a people presence too. Also, travel is a must. And last but not least, the athletes unlike professional sports participants aren’t missing a paycheck if they don’t play.
Speaking of payments, this brings up the elephant in the locker room. That elephant by the way is not the ubiquitous elephant associated with college football powerhouse University of Alabama’s logo. The elephant is the revenue that would be missed by not playing the games. This may be a matter of desperation, a statement of values or both.
I do not and never have prayed for my team to win. That just feels like a misplacing of priorities. However, I will pray for their (along with everyone else) survival.
The Iowa Wave is my school's recently begun celebration where fans in the stands turn around and wave at patients at the UI Stead Family Children's Hospital following the first quarter at Hawkeye home games. In lieu of games so far staff have taken to do this on game day Saturdays.
I belong to a local offline writing group. We met and shared our creative outputs in a real-world setting before the pandemic era. Now, when we meet it’s virtual. We still share our individual works but now we’re dispersed physically even as yet connected by technology.
The local writers often include a theme based assignment. A recent virtual get together spawned a ‘10 things people don’t know about me’ subject for that evening's gathering. I included my Hollywood breakout performance as number 5 on my list of 10. (okay it wasn’t Hollywood but close to it)
I wrote the following:
“I performed at Disneyland. Yes, I along with the rest of my high school marching band. I played a special part. The band played “Love Will Keep Us Together “, the 1975 smash hit by The Captain and Tennille. The introduction was played by the sousaphone (tuba) players comprised of myself and the other guy.”
The year was 1978. I would visit the Los Angeles area again some three years later but wouldn’t step foot in L.A. for a third time until 2014. I haven’t been back to Disneyland since my memorable moment in the magic kingdom sun. Oh, but I still recall it.