Thursday, June 23

"God Gave Them Over . . ."

The last half of the first chapter of Paul's letter to the Roman Christians almost 2000 years ago is a classic diatribe against those who practice dei-cide. Deicide is a word you won't find in a pocket dictionary. It has fallen out of use in the past century or so. It is the practice of killing God in your heart.

Paul's view of the ancient world of idol worship, homosexuality and other sins uses a peculiar phrase associated with all this depravity. He says, "God gave them up to uncleanness . . . to vile passions . . . and a debased mind." Why? "Because they did not like to retain God in their knowledge." They were "haters of God." God-killers. (verses 18-31)

They knew God hated what they were doing and did it anyway. Their excuse? "We love sin and we really love sinning and we really love others who sin like we do." (verse 32)

And what's changed in the past two millenia? Absolutely nothing. In chapter 3 he says, "For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory [perfect sinlessness, holiness and righteousness] of God." (verse 23) That includes those of us who think we're better and better off than the murderers, sexual perverts and haters of God we see around us. God says we're all in the same boat spiritually: "Dead in trespasses and sins." (Ephesians 2:1) Soon to be judged by God in Christ Jesus. "As it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment." (Hebrews 9:27)

It's time to listen to Him "who has the power to destroy both body and soul in hell," says Jesus. There is only hope of forgiveness in Him. See the book of Acts 2:22-40.

Tuesday, June 21

"A [Wo]Man is a Worker . . . "

Joseph Conrad's quote ends with these words: "If he is not that he is nothing." Some of us have passed the million dollar mark in life, live like kings and queens compared to our poorer neighbors around the world, and can truthfully say we enjoy our labors. Pity those who like Jerome K. Jeromes say, "I like work; it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours."

Some feel a certain pleasure at the end of the day when exhaustion rules life and limb. Many a prayer of thanks ascends as we recline in our Lazy-Boy and sigh in relief. The workday has ended. The mind and body can start their mending. With eyes closed we drift on a calm and stressless sea.

Barb has been helping at KP Corp again this week for a few days. Piddly stuff like shrinkwrapping, labeling, rubberbanding, boxing. She loves it. Her back doesn't love it, but she does. I'll wake in the middle of the night tonight and smell her generously spread muscle relaxant. What a woman!

Friday, June 10

Airport Retort Report

Our flight home from Nashville last week rated a Zero on the Most Wonderful Air Transportation Experience list. Picture getting up at 3 a.m. to catch a 6 o'clock plane (you have to be there two hours early, right? A 1/2 hour would have sufficed at this hour!). We waited at the end of the United terminal for a little puddle jumper to take us to Denver.

Everything was great until we hear an announcement that a passenger in 1st class was having a medical emergency. "Is there a doctor on board?" A woman a few rows from us got up to help. "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Yes, we have a medical emergency and will be diverting to St. Louis." It took about 30 minutes to find the airport, where we landed and waited for the paramedics to assess the situation, remove the passenger and head for the hospital. Then we waited while the "paperwork" progressed in the cockpit. Thankfully, they let us use the restroom.

On to Denver and a way late arrival. Our flight left an hour before we got there. So we got to wait with the thousands of others who were on standby because of the east coast storms the day before (14 cancelled flights). Some had stayed all night. I talked to Customer Service and was able to get a secure flight to San Francisco, then to Sacramento. All well and good except for the three hour layover at S.F.

To make this long story shorter: Let's see, we got up at 3 a.m. (that's 1 a.m. California time), and finally got home at 10 p.m. California time. The original 7 hour flight turned into a 20 hour Don't Ever Want To Do That Again fiasco.

I can't really complain. Maybe this woman's life was saved by the unexpected landing. Maybe our original plane would have crashed in a Colorado thunderstorm. We certainly wouldn't have seen all those neat jets coming and going on the San Francisco runways. And I would have missed seeing the sunset as we flew out over the city on the way home.

Thursday, June 2

Tennessee Tales

We've been enjoying a week's vacation on the Cumberland Plateau a few hours east of Nashville. One beautiful American paradise as long as you come at the right time. May is the best month. Cool and little humidity.

This is the all-brothers-and-sisters reunion at Mom's. She just celebrated her 80th year and is really enjoying the mayhemic party we always throw when we get together. The food has been terrific, too. Mom's a great cook. Tonight's California Caserole is still in the oven.

We've taken day trips here and there. Nothing exotic in this neck of the woods, but it's fun visiting little towns that seem pretty much removed from civilization--- backwoodsy bergs that haven't changed appearance in 50 or more years. Wish I could show a few pictures, but can't yet.

Friendly people, cheap gas and good food. We'll be back.