A Few Moments of Beauty

My wife and I recently made a trip to visit my parents in Colorado. We went because it was beyond time for me to go see my mother, and I had put it off for far too long. My mother is currently suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s disease, which has essentially stolen my mother from those who love her the most. Needless to say, I was very much hesitant to go.

What can someone say when they look into their mother’s eyes and see endless confusion and fear? Those are the moments that leave you silenced by a lack of anything meaningful to say. There simply are no words that can adequately describe that anguish.

The day we arrived, my stepdad drove my mother out to us, and took us to dinner. This was one of the points where the trip came into focus. I was not there just to see my mother, I was also there to see my stepdad and let him know that he is not suffering alone. It was the first time we had spoken in this manner, and it made me realize that I had been deeply unfair to him for many years.

Over the course of the next few days, we spent a great deal of time with them. We also got a much needed break from our kids, and even got to enjoy a mini-honeymoon (we didn’t get to have a real one). Overall, it was a good trip. We even got to have dinner with my sister and brother-in-law, and left with some of my childhood pictures, which we plan on having scanned and stored.

Earlier this week, I took a call from my sister. I was at work, but it was so unusual for her to call me during the day that I had to answer. She had called to tell me that our mother is dying, and that she is not expected to make it through the week. Her condition is deteriorating so rapidly, no one can do anything about it.

I am faced with the very real prospect of flying out to sit with my mother as she leaves this world, and it is tearing me apart. No matter how many times I remind myself that she is going to be with the Lord, and that her mind will be clear and sharp, it does not seem to dull the ache. I guess it not meant to.

I want you folks to do one simple thing. If you are still able to do so, give your mothers a big hug, and thank them for giving you life. Do not allow such an opportunity to pass you by. You never know when you will have the chance to do it again, if you do in fact get a chance. In so doing, you will create a few moments of true beauty.

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Thoughts on Memorial Day

Though it’s a bit late in the day, I thought I’d take a few moments to share some of the thoughts running through my head. I’ll begin with the purpose to this day.

This day is to honor the veterans who gave their lives in service to their country, not for those who have served. If you thank a vet today, please let it be while standing at their headstone in the cemetery. Those of us still alive will understand.

Truth be told, I’m always more than a little uncomfortable when thanked for my service. I always feel as if I’ve been put on the spot, and I don’t really deserve it. My stock response is, “Thank you for the support”, but that just feels cheesy.

If you really want to thank a veteran, find one wearing a “Vietnam Veteran” hat. Go thank those guys, and please be sure to welcome them home. Use those words, “Welcome Home”. Better late than never, right?

They didn’t come home to marching bands, welcoming committees, and warm hugs. They came home to hostility, hatred, and division. Do your bit to help heal the hearts of men and women who came home to abuse from their fellow citizens.

May you find peace, Ma’am.

Tuesday, the world lost a bright light. Former First Lady Barbara Bush passed at the age of 92. On that day, she walked among the clouds, and learned more about God than any of us could possibly imagine.

I was in Middle School when she was First Lady, but one thing I can remember is that she had class. Looking back on her, and the women who have followed in her stead, she was definitely one of a kind.

To the Bush family, my sincerest condolences. Don’t worry, she’s walking with the Lord, and I don’t doubt she’s eagerly awaiting the family reunion.

Adventures in Raising Children

If you’ve been a parent for more than five minutes, you know that your children can be an endless source of entertainment, embarrassment, frustration, and laughter; often running the full gamut in less than five minutes. My kids are no exception, and our six-year-old gave us one such example.

My wife and I sat the kids down to watch a documentary on Africa when a segment about meerkats came on. The entire endeavor was derailed by our six-year-old’s hilarious attempts to pronounce “meerkat”.

His initial attempt, meercrap, touched off the need to share this episode. His second attempt, murcrack, was enough to reduce my wife to tears. It was at this point that I decided to coach my young son on how to say “meerkat”. Here’s how it went:

Me: Meer

Him: Meer

Me: Meer

Him: Meer

Me: Kat

Him: Kat!

Me: Meer…Kat

Him: Meer…Kat!

Me: Meer…Kat

Him: Meer…Kat!

Me: Meerkat

Him: Meerclat!

Me: Facepalm

My wife: (choking)

While he did eventually master the pronunciation of meerkat, my wife and I barely survived the experience.

Fare thee well

Today I learned of the passing of one of my favorite Christian Apologists, Nabeel Qureshi. He was diagnosed with stomach cancer last year, so his passing wasn’t a surprise.

It’s tough to write this, though I never met the man. Stil, his passion and zeal for the Truth of Jesus Christ was hard to miss. He fought hard for our faith, and for that the world lost a great light.

For those who might not know, Nabeel Qureshi was a former Muslim, the son and grandson of Muslim missionaries. His father is a retired U.S. Naval Officer, having immigrated from Pakistan the day Elvis died. (Nabeel tells the story in one of his videos about how his dad arrived in the U.S. the day after Elvis died)

He converted to Christianity while in college, after a long series of debates with his best friend, David Wood. From that time on, he has fought a great many battles in defense of faith in Christ, including many against Muslims.

In the veteran community, we have a simple saying we like to use, “Until we Regroup”. To regroup means to come back together and reorganize so that the mission may continue. Though he never served in our Armed Forces, this man was still a powerful warrior, though his war was for the salvation of as many as he could reach.

It’s for this reason I say, until we regroup, brother. See you on the other side.

I’ve signed, have you?

https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F342556754&color=%23ff5500&%3Bauto_play=false&%3Bhide_related=false&%3Bshow_comments=true&%3Bshow_user=true&%3Bshow_reposts=false

Our culture has been changing, and it is changing fast. One of the areas that we are seeing this change is on the topic of human sexuality and gender. It is for this reason that the Nashville Statement was recently released. As the preamble of the statement says, “As Western culture has become increasingly post-Christian, […]

via The Nashville Statement: A Christian Response and Testimony — Coffeehouse Questions

They can’t rewrite the history we all know

From WND.com, by Bob Unruh, July 31, 2016 – Says don’t mess with Temple Mount history Israel’s ancient high court, the Sanhedrin, now reborn, has issued a statement warning the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization not to try to interfere with – or change – the history linked to the Temple Mount. A […]

via ISRAEL’S SANHEDRIN TAKES ON U.N. — Parker County Blog

While this isn’t surprising, it certainly is disappointing.

“For rebellion is like the sin of divination, Defiance, like the iniquity of teraphim. Because you rejected Hashem’s command, He has rejected you as king.” I Samuel 15:23 (The Israel Bible™)

via Catholic Church’s Denial of Jewish Ties to Temple Mount “Heresy”, “Violates Torah”, Accuses Christian Leader — End Time Bible Prophecy

Here are my own personal thoughts. Roughly 2,000 years ago, the Roman province of Judea was renamed Palestina, in an effort to separate the Jewish people from their lands. The name derives from the Philistines, and they figured that the name change would get rid of those pesky Jews.

In fact, after the sacking of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple in 70AD, the Romans made it illegal for Jews to live in, let alone visit, Jerusalem. In short order, the Jewish people became scattered all over Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Asia Minor.

This state of affairs remained largely unchanged until 1948, when the Jewish state of Israel was formed, effectively reuniting the Jewish people with their homelands after nearly two millennia.

Since that time, Israel has flourished and become a beacon of Western values, inspite of the ongoing hatred and animosity of their Arab neighbors. They have survived multiple wars, a grinding insurgency from multiple directions and managed to beat back the several attempts by other states to drive them into the sea.

How ironic it is that the very same entity, the United Nations, that established the state of Israel, would be the one leading the charge to utterly wipe them out. I mean, it seems almost poetic, right?

As if that wasn’t enough, the same people who sat on their hands while Jews were loaded onto train cars and taken off to places like Auschwitz, Dachau and other such hellish places are now assisting in the U.N.’s efforts. Way to go, Vatican. You’re really swinging for the fences now.

The Holy See still has blood on it’s hands from WWII, and it’s clear they haven’t learned. I have to wonder how much longer it’ll be befor the Vatican openly admits to active involvement in efforts that they hope will lead to the destruction of Israel.

Where to begin?

Yesterday, I was handed what I consider to be good news. However, I dared not believe it, until today. I had to see confirmation for myself.

I have learned that President Trump has actually banned transgender people from service in the military. As some may recall, I spoke out against the policy that allowed trans people to openly serve for multiple reasons, not the least of which is that it’s a violation of my religious beliefs to order me to tolerate them.

Now, I’m face-to-face with the fact that this policy has gone the way of the dinosaur, and I couldn’t be happier. The only question I have is, for how long?

If I’ve learned anything in my 40 years on this planet, it’s that humans are stubborn, prideful and relentless. The LGBTQ alphabet soup will be back, trying to force this course of action. It isn’t as if Trump will be preseident forever.