For the Children

if you stand in a garage
doesn’t mean you will
become a car

if you smoke a Churchill
cigar doesn’t mean you
will become like

Churchill

if you have children
doesn’t mean you will
become good and

loving parents

anyone can be a parent

sadly there are no
qualifications to become
parents

the first two are silly
the last one is most
unfortunate

mostly for the children
especially during COVID

Friday Sounds

the late afternoon air is
filled with Friday sounds
that don’t seem as loud

as other days

there is an endless stream
of car horns truck horns
school buses rushing by

the bulk garbage trucks
that normally come on
Mondays whipped through

the neighborhood in twos
there was nothing to
pickup

I was wrong

as they were filled with
fallen trees that must
have blocked a street

nearby

train horns chime in as
long lumbering trains
cross town holding up

rush hour traffic as
they go

it seems many of the
people are impatient
possibly eager to die

no masks
no vaccinations
they rather believe

the lie

who is willing to hear

the late afternoon air is
filled with Friday sounds

Talking to Myself

I was awakened at five
by the sound of heavy
rain crashing on our

metal roof
heck of a way to start
a Monday

it is now thirteen-thirty
the sun is out and the
wind is picking up

I can hear the distant
thunder and see the
lightning strike

the lawn is too wet to
cut and there are still
receding pools of water

on the patio

I can’t see the jet or
the small plane but I
hear them fly overhead

unaware of the coming
storm which looks
ominous and mighty

but the coming storm is
only the tiniest display
of God’s power

my phone beeps with a
text message from LDH
reporting 16,541 new

cases of COVID-19 since
Friday along with 2,720
hospitalizations

the governor adds get
vaccinated mask up and
help save lives

how many more deaths will
it take

how much longer will
arrogance and ignorance
rule

God is speaking to us through
the storm calling us back
to him

is anyone listening

or am I only talking to myself

The Last Few Days

I’m finally bouncing back after
the effects of taking my Dose 2
COVID vaccine last Friday. Plus,

I’m getting myself motivated
to go for an implant evaluation
tomorrow afternoon.

The birds sang and the dogs

barked without me hearing
them these last few days as
nausea, fever, and chills

ruled. Little to eat or drink.

She cracked the door open
and stuck her head out, “I’m
taking my bath.”

That was her way of letting
me know that the music
would be loud and it would

be best if I stayed out on the
patio a little longer. Then her
head and smile disappeared

as the door closed.

So I put my laptop down on
the cement floor next to my
chair and went inside to

make a cup of coffee to see
if I am really feeling better.
She was in her chair not in

the bath yet. I joined her
on my usual end of the sofa.
“I am going to take my bath.”

“I know. No rush. Not a race.
It is only a little after five.”
She asked, “Did you check

the mail yet?” “No.” (Looks
like I totally spaced it.)

She came back, “Do you
want me to get it?”
“No, that’s okay, I’ll get it.”

We smiled at each other
and decided to walk out
together to the mailbox.

Of course, we held hands
all the way to mailbox and
back. A slow sweet walk.

She is so adorable and
loving. Checking the mail
was the high point of

the last few days

Oh, and if you are wondering,
the short cup of coffee was
sweet too if the rest of me

agrees.

Sunday is Coming

It’s cold. The rain is steady
and cold. Not a soul outside,
Just me. There goes a bird.

Another bird from a different
tree. The rain is stopping soon.
I’m hopeful on Fridays because

COVID–19 is leaving and Sunday
is coming.

Then Sunday passes. The call
will come. Maybe not today.
Maybe tomorrow because

Sunday is coming.

Return to Normal

I was sitting outback thinking about things. One of the things I thought about was the concept or yearning of humankind to have a strong desire to “return to normal.” That is when it hit me and I realized that to return to normal is not possible.

The hope that our lives or the world will return to normal is false hope and misplaced faith.

Ever since Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, original sin made it impossible to return to normal—to be holy and walk with God.

Before Adam and Eve fell from grace and sinned, their relationship with Almighty God was the eternal standard for normal. Humankind created in the image of God was holy and walked with God, in other words, Adam and Eve were in constant fellowship with God which can only happen in the absence of sin because God is Holy. Holy is God’s character. Holy is who or what he is. So, that which is holy and sin cannot occupy the same space.

After Satan deceived Eve and her husband in the Garden of Eden, they sinned by not obeying God, but rather by believing Satan’s lie that they too could be like God, meaning they could be God if they ate from the tree of Good and Evil which God prohibited them to do.

From that point in time to the present day all humanity inherits the condition of sin and at birth is not holy and separated from God. The sin condition in humankind prohibits a relationship with God because God is without sin. Remember what I said? Here is an example. Remember Moses and the Burning Bush?

As Moses approached the Burning Bush that was not being consumed by the fire, he heard God’s voice. God told Moses to take of his sandals because he was standing on Holy Ground. The sandals represent all that is not holy, all that is man-made—that which is sin and cannot be one with God.

Ever since the Fall of Man, sin made it impossible for Adam and Eve to return to normal—to be Holy and walk with God—in a full close loving relationship with God.

A relationship with God is deeper and more personal than one can imagine. God (the Father), Jesus (the Son), and the Holy Spirit are described as God in three persons, the Trinity and all three of them were present in the Creation of the World. For all things were created by Him (Jesus) and for Him (Jesus).

You might say we are wired to seek God and a way to return to normal. God made humankind that way. The good news is that God (the Holy, Almighty one) planned to bring humankind back into relationship with himself after Satan (the Bad, the Evil one) deceived Adam and Eve.

The bad news is Satan. He is known as the Prince and Power of the Air and creates havoc on earth against God and against all who believe in God.

While God made a way for humankind to return to Him and be with Him forever (the eternal view), Satan has promoted a “return to normal” (his world view) in every generation to keep humankind in sin and separated from God which ends in death for humankind, not eternal life with God.

You see, with Satan’s world view, a “return to normal” is never a constant. Rather, Satan directs changes constantly, like shifting sand, to move the world and humanity in the direction he wants it to go, e.g., antichrist, to Hell, etc. These things are part of the “spiritual warfare” that the Apostle Paul spoke of late in the first century.

The Apostle Paul also explained simply how one might “return to normal” and walk with God by faith, as follows:

“The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead [after Jesus died on the cross for all sin], you will be saved [receive the gift of eternal life with God]. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew or Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:8-13 ESV; text in brackets here are mine.)

My hope for you, dear reader, and for all of humankind, as we move into the new year (with COVID so it seems) is this:

Do not hope to “return to normal” before COVID. It is impossible. There is true north and there is true normal. Return to normal by returning to God by saying the words of Paul above. Confess in the quiet of your own heart to God and you will return to normal and be with God for all eternity.

For those of us who believe in God, our return to normal is always in front of us not behind us.

God bless and Happy New Year.

With Summer

from the get-go today
there were no clouds

a slight wind and the
sun was strong all day

if it weren’t for the
heater kicking on you

would think it was
still summer well it

looks like it but I had
to wear a coat to go

out to check the mail
I told myself I was

warm enough but they
say tonight will be the

first freeze of winter

I pray all the pestilence
on our planet will perish

with summer

Odds and Ends 3.20

Until now it was a lazy day.
The wind has doubled or more
and the sun is in full retreat.

I better hurry if I want to make
my window for a late afternoon
cup of coffee.

I made a 10 oz cup instead of a
12 oz cup to have enough room
for cream as I decided to try

a cup with cream only. Funny, I
like a double espresso with
sugar. But regular old coffee

black kills my taste for coffee.
I took a sip and put it down.
When I picked it up again, there

was a tiny bug floating in the
cup who didn’t like the coffee
either.

So much for my Plan A. No time
for a Plan B if I had one today.
I guess it is time for me to start

cooking dinner. I am baking
chicken legs. Why chicken legs?
It is the only fresh meat in the

fridge that was dropped from
our scaled down Thanksgiving
menu. We already cut back

on the variety of food and
will cook less of everything.
Instead of for twenty, it will

be for ten, but in reality five.
We just went to back to Phase 2
this afternoon. So the few who

might have come will now get
curbside delivery service. All
wearing masks of course.

At any rate, there will still be
more leftovers than usual.
Turkey and ham will abound

for a good week or so. You have
heard it before, “Be safe, not
sorry.” It is hard to plan with

COVID. Things change quickly.
But we can plan to pray.
Happy Thanksgiving.

Give thanks and pray.