Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Thoughts on Thankfulness

     A door welcoming all who desire to enter in seeking to savor profound meditations. The absolute silence is broken by the morning light penetrating my eyelids. Rising from my bed, I sit comfortably in my soft, supple rocking chair. Pensively, I ponder the abundance of thoughts rumbling through my mind.Come, let me entice your senses, journeying on a potent road of thought. Enter in, all those who desire a taste of the delights of thankfulness to dwell upon.
     Freely streaming from the rivers of my heart's cry, thankfulness flows pen tip to paper. Daily, my life is engorged, my cup running over with images of blessings. Each day this profound journey yearns to be embarked upon.
Request granted, the curtain ascends. Plentiful, pristine pictures of thankfulness emerge, etched in my mind from days past. Countless images discovered, moment onto moment, hour onto hour, day onto day, anxiously waiting to be savored for a time and infinite times.
     Golden rays of lamplight permeate the page as nimble fingers clutch the pen shaft. Thankfulness flows out, sweet memories marinating from the days past. Priceless visions require unhurried contemplation throughout my God-given days.
Turning the handle, sparkling, life-giving water flows from a metal spout cascading to the depths of my drinking cup. My cup raised slowly, parched lips touching the rim, I sip the sacred fluid. My thirst slaked for a moment, I am overwhelmed with thankfulness. My God, My God, you are absolutely precious in my heart. I am blessed by the Holy Spirit living within me.
     Consciously, I step into the silence of my shower, rivulets of streaming water drench my body and quietly fall to the shower room floor. Muscles worn by toil are soothed and cleansed and prepared for future days. Thankfully, I raise my hands to heaven, praising our Father with all the joy contained within this heart of truth.
     A simple question remains for all to answer. Who do we give thanks to? Surely, man is not deserving of accolades for thankfulness expressed. Truth be told, there is only one reality that can be found. The Father in Heaven is the giver of every good and perfect gift that mankind has received. He is the only one rightfully worthy to lay claim to a humble soul's journey of thankfulness. This is the only road that we can travel on when thankfulness is the quest.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Fremont Cafe

The Fremont Cafe

     For me, childhood memories are like "secret friends" that I can call on without anyone knowing they are there.
     One of my favorite and somewhat humorous memories was our summer trip up to "Grandma Mac's Cottage." My every waking moment was consumed with our stop at the "Fremont Cafe-our half-way point to Grandma Mac's Cottage. Fremont, Wisconsin was and still is a quaint, little slice of small town Americana: A one-pump gas station and part-time repair shop; A Rexall drugstore; the Fremont Cafe; and a handful of houses dotting the main street on each side.
    The intensity of the journey began for me as we turned the corner passing the one-pump gas station, and pulled up in front of the Rexall drugstore. Ahhhhh..... the Rexall drugstore. It was like the appetizer before the "big meal." The moment my foot hit the threshold, the distinct, soothing smell transported me to another world. I would run over to the comic book rack and stand mesmerized by the rows and rows of comic books. My favorites stood out like a sore thumb, Superman, Batman, The Flash, Green Lantern.
     Now, I thought that I was in heaven in the Rexall drugstore, but boy, was I wrong. A few short steps away from where I was standing was the ultimate, one-of-a-kind, A number-one, the main event, "The Fremont Cafe." Be still my heart. As I opened the dilapidated screen door, it hit me! A delightfully euphoric combination of smells: Pancakes cooking on the griddle; sausages frying in the skillet; and the aroma of maple syrup wafting through the air.Our waitress, who doubled as the cashier, seated us at a square table with high-back, booth-type seats. As I looked at the menu, my eyes were always drawn to that something special-pancakes. Year in and Year out, it was always the same for me, one cake and a glass of o.j. You know, some pancakes are just shrimpy three-stacks with a little butter and imitation syrup, but this cake covered the whole plate!
     It would never fail. When that pancake reached our table, bells and whistles would go off in my head and my eyes would become as wide as tractor tires. I slathered it with fresh, creamy butter and poured "real" maple syrup around and around on the top until that cake was saturated. Every buttery bite was like water to a parched man. I savored every morsel until my plate was wiped clean. I jumped into my dad's old, "57 Merc" and off we went to Grandma Mac's Cottage. At forty-five miles an hour, I had plenty of time to ponder the delightful meal at "The Fremont Cafe."

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Heart Of The Matter

The Heart of The Matter

     Let's see, I'm sure that many of us remember that old Popeye cartoon from our childhood. One character who stands out in my mind is Wimpy. You know his old saw. He would say, "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday, for a hamburger today." So, why would I bring up this silly, pompous character at the beginning of my writing about redistribution of wealth? Let me explain.
    Wimpy is the consumate picture of how our government has financially mismanaged our tax dollars, no matter what program they put their hand to. Their management of our tax dollars is centered in a twisted type of thinking that goes something like this. "Please loan us your money and we'll pay you back tomorrow!" Tomorrow comes and now our government is telling us that they are going broke.
     However, in all fairness, the current level of debt that our country has incurred did not appear overnight. Many past administrations have built-up and added to our country's debt burden by redistributing wealth invisibly through taxes. However, the Obama Whitehouse has exacerbated the problem in their quest to redistribute your and my wealth through taxes. They are crying out, "This is a crises!", "This is an emergency and it just can't wait!", "Hurry, Hurry, Hurry!"
     The reality is our economy will not recover if Mr. Obama and his colleagues in the Congress and Senate continue to spend our tax dollars with reckless abandon while their underlying motive is the redistribution of wealth through taxes. Mr. Obama's answer can be found in his statement to Joe, The Plumber. It is proof positive of this motive. He said, "Well, you know, we've got to spread the wealth around!" Well, please Mr. Obama spread your own wealth around!" I believe that I can speak for a majority of Americans when I say, "We have worked long and hard to enjoy the fruits of our labor, don't deny us that privilege by taxing us to death and then "redistributing" it to people who have not worked for it nor deserve it.
     Many people, myself included, who have reached middle age are able to see, or should be able to see through the "smokescreen" thrown up by our government. You see, redistribution of wealth via taxes is really nothing new. So, we should not be surprised that it is happening. One example is Social Security. The original intent for this tax-based, government-run program was that citizens would pay into this system with the hopes that when they reached their "golden years" the money would be their little "nest egg"that they could count on.
     Granted, now, it "is" being used for retirement income for the current population, but, additionally, our government is dipping into this fund for a variety of other government-run programs. Some examples that I can point to where they are reditributing our tax dollars are: welfare; food stamps; medicare; medicaid; General Motors and the bank bailouts; "Cash for Clunkers." The list goes on and on and on. Where will it all end?
     So, who's to blame? Well, for one, our governments, past and present bear a big percentage of the responsibility for the implementation of the aforementioned programs. However, the heart of the matter is we Americans have been "asleep at the switch" so to speak. We have failed to pay attention to how our government operates as well as how our tax dollars are being redistributed. We assumed that our leaders in government had our best interests at heart. However, for the most part our government has perpetrated an enormous lie on "We, the People."
     My main concern is, "Why have we come to this point in the life of our country?" "Why have we let and ungodly ideology permeate the entire fabric of our great nation?" There are many reasons why. However, first and foremost, the removal of all facets of God from the life of our nation stands out as the most prominent in my mind. Furthermore, people in our society have either rejected God's Word completely or are severely, biblically illiterate. Any application of biblical truth has been pushed and shoved aside in favor of humanistic, worldly thinking. Lastly, because of one atheists crusade (Madeline Murray O'hare), we are not allowed to pray or read the Bible in our schools. It has gone as far as students being prevented from expressing their faith in their speeches at graduation ceremonies.
     Our Founding Fathers would be appalled if they saw the spiritual condition of our great nation because many of them believed in Jesus Christ as their Savior as well as God, our Creator. Christianity's influence can be seen weaved in and out of their personal writings and writings concerning the operation of our government. I believe that they would never have considered redistributing other individuals wealth through taxation. They believed, as I do, that personal responsibility for our lives is a must as we live in a free country, not handouts.

The Path Laid Out Before Us

The Path Layed Out Before Us

     Today, we must be brutally honest with ourselves- a gut-level honesty is the order of the day. We, as a nation, have been asleep at the switch. We, the American people (not just baby boomers) have believed the lie that the Federal government was watching over our country. We felt secure in that knowledge and blindly trusted that they had our best interests at heart.
     We were unequivically wrong! In our trust, ignorance, and apathy, we have sadly strayed from the path of Liberty and Freedom. We have chosen a wealth of other distractions to placate our own selfish, self-indulgent desires, while ignoring our responsibilities as citizens of the United States. A majority of individuals of these United States have awoken to realize that the current, liberal, elitist Obama adminstration is using their office to grab, overstep and abuse the responsibilities we, the people, have given them by the Constitution to protect the American people. Now, the hour of truth is upon us and many will say as I have, Mr. President, Congress, and Senate, you have awoken a sleeping giant!
     The siren song of Lady Liberty is calling all who believe in Freedom and Our Constitutional Republic to join. Our walking this path means we must be brave and courageous. It is imperative that every individual in our nation not shrink back or shirk their duty to protect our nation. Even though, it may be necessary to gather for a Call-To-Arms among these United States against our Federal government.
     We have listened to unrighteous rhetoric for far too long. We cannot and will not stand by and watch these, our United States be torn apart, disintegrated, and destroyed by disastrous, unconstitutional decisions made by the President and his liberal, elitist administration, i.e., bank bailouts, stimulus plans, home loan fraud, etc., etc., etc..
I think that it was Thomas Jefferson who said, "Eternal Vigilence is the price of Freedom." As we face this tyrannical Federal government, each and every individual's vigilence must shine forth and convince other American citizens of the battle before us. Again, the path layed our before us is clear, and we must walk it with the iron will of determination for the sake of our fellow Americans.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My First Car: My Glorious Rambler

My Glorious Rambler

     Ask any young spendthrift like myself, "was it easy to save cash to buy that glorious Rambler?, and I would haqve told you that you would have a better chance of heaving a boulder across the Grand Canyon! This young man's priorities in those days were cigarettes, bowling, and babes-Ah, the shortsightedness of youth.
     I worked for the county park system. We all have succumbed to a variety of strange jobs as teens, but I think mine were the strangest. At the county zoo, I hawked stinky smelt, two for ten cents to feed the sea lions. The zoo handlers told me, "Don't give em too big of a fish, or they might choke!" Oh great, now I have to worry about potentially being a sea lion killer if they choke! Then, I moved up the food chain so to speak, and started to work with human beings. So, my episode began as the crusty toe checker for the county park swimming pools. "Ok, spread the toes." "Hmmmmm, ok, move on, you passed.", but what do you check for if a kid doesn't have any feet? Athlete's stump?
     I earned a dollar seventy-five cents and hour for the county parks. I thought, "man, I'm making big money now, not a paltry dollar thirty-five selling women's shoes." Even though I was making "big time money", I am bewildered at how I could have scraped up enough cash to buy my glorious Rambler. I don't remember why Dad didn't go with me to purchase my "bomb", but who should be on hand to impart his used car buying sage wisdom but good, old Uncle Pete. A spendthrift showing a spendthrift how to negotiate a used car deal. It was the blind leading the blind. Uncle Pete and I drove over to a whole-in-the-wall used car lot across from the Paradise movie theater. I think the lot was called, "Sucker's Surprise Used Autos", or at least that was the name on the sign surrounded by bright luminescent lights on each side. There was no negotiation, just look and buy.
     This young man-boy was in a daze. It seemed like a mythical adventure of sorts. There it sat, my steel stallion, my glorious rambler! Color? Beige and a dark, pink top. "Ah, who cares! It has four wheels, a body, and an engine. That's good enough for me." "Wait just a minute!, "You said what?, A three-speed stick on the column?" "I don't know how to drive stick!, Ah, who cares, I'll learn." It took about a million jerks, lurches and stalls to get the glorious Rambler home and into the driveway, but as I stood next to the glorious Rambler, it struck me. It's mine!

True Story: The Little Red-Haired Girl

The Little Red-Haired Girl
     Where are the words, the perfect words describing a first love. Picture this ! Sun streaming through our cabin windows while dust dances on the lightbeams hitting the windowsill. This four year old was ready for a day of play. So, I gingerly tiptoed past my sleeping parents sprawled out on the hide-a-bed in the corner. I gently swung open the cabin door, stepped off the porch heading for the fishing shack by the lake.
     Then lightning struck. The mysterious love bug bit my tender heart. Stopping dead in my tracks, I stood motionless staring at her. The little red haired girl sat on the cracked concrete stoop in front of our lifeless cabin. Georgeous, red spiral curls spilled over her shoulders while her angelic face glowed a pure, creamy white.
     I mustered up all the courage a four year old could muster, deciding to break the silence. Cautiously, I inched closer, first one step then another. I could'nt believe it! Finally, I was standing two feet away from the little red haired girl resting on the concrete stoop. I swished the stone cold sand back and forth with my bare foot. "Hi, what's your name."
     Sheepishly, she looked up at me with a pair of sparkling blue eyes that glimmered in the sunlight. This angel fell from heaven and landed on my concrete stoop. My eyes gazed at her youthful beauty, my thoughts constantly trained on her. I hung on her every word. A heart captured without a fight, looking forward to tommorrow when we would meet again.
     Morning came quickly. I bolted out the cabin door looking toward the cracked concrete stoop. No little red haired girl! Where was she? Patiently, I waited on the concrete stoop. The hours passed like molasses in January. I peered up and down the beach-no little red haired girl. I raced through our cabin, out the front door hoping that she was playing in the front yard-no little red haired girl.
     An old 57 merc pulled into the driveway of the cabin next door. My heart pounded heavily in my chest. Was it her? The rusting car door creaked open. A leg poked out hitting the ground with a gravelly crunch-no little red haired girl! Sadness gripped me like a vice as I ran to the cracked concrete stoop. I plopped down on the stoop. My head resting in my hands, rivers of tears streamed down my pudgy cheeks. The little red haired girl of my dreams was gone. Memories of her red spiral curls, pure, creamy white face, and a cracked concrete stoop are all that's left. Memories

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Thinking: The Most Important Thing !

       If there is one thing that I think is absolutely a must in the times that we live is thinking about our thinking. Why do I do the things I do? Why do I think the way I do?Can I change and discard some of the habits that have gotten in the way of me growing to maturity as an individual? Can I learn new skills for the coming breakdown and collapse of society?
     On the average, many people absolutely do not take the time to stop and think before they act. I know, I've been there and done that. I believe there are two things that have changed me in the area of thinking. One, thanks to my wife, is understanding our personal finances at a young age. You see, we were married at twenty and had to watch our dollars because we wanted a home for our children. I would say I learned the importance of self-sacrifice before our children were born and it continues on to this day.Another is completing my Bachelor's Degree. This time of training to become an Elementary School Teacher gave me ample opportunity to reflect and think about my experiences. Again, Thinking about my thinking became habitual.
      One area where people fall down when thinking about how they think are decisions based on emotion, rather than rational thinking.The all too familiar subconscious thinking goes, I want what I want and I want it now! Damn the torpedoes, straight ahead!
     A key word is habit. You must take the time to make thinking about your thinking a habit, so when anything happens whether it be a personal emergency or collapse of society, you will be ready.