Read this piece by Jeffrey Tucker. Demands for a pound of flesh for the lunacy of two years of lockdowns and mandates foisted upon a now battered, bruised, and angry American public by the ruling class are not likely to be met and that’s a dadgum shame.
It was ten years ago today that my mama won her fight against cancer when she went to her real home in Heaven. She was married to my daddy for 61 years and raised four children, the last one being me who rolled into the picture quite unexpectedly 13 years after the one who previously held the title of “baby of the family.” For 41 years, she had at least one child in the house to take care of but she kept us fed and dressed and in line (mostly). She sang in the choir, taught Sunday school, and washed the grape juice out of the communion cups on Lord’s Supper Sundays because we used the real glass communion cups. There were lots of responsibilities being a preacher’s wife and a mother of four kids and she handled it all with grace.
We didn’t have a radio in the house until sometime after I started 1st grade except for a big ol’ console stereo with a record player that didn’t work and the only time I remember it being turned on was when daddy would listen to Alabama basketball or football games. There was always music in the house, though, because she sang hymns all the time. I remember sitting on the stairs that led to the basement soon after we moved to Holtville in the summer of 1975 and her teaching me the words to Away in a Manger. She loved to sing. She also taught me the words to The US Air Force which she had presumably learned to impress my father who served in the Air Force shortly after WW2 ended. I can still sing the first verse, by the way.
Anyway, I miss her.
I said all that to say this, though: We didn’t grieve without hope when she left this world in 2011 and we don’t miss her without hope today because in addition to all the proverbial hats she wore for so many years, she was also a lover and follower of Jesus and I have no doubt that the moment she breathed her last breath here, she was with Him. I have always taken immense comfort in knowing that and I know that my sisters and the rest of our family have too. I know we’ll see her again one day and show her proper gratitude for how she loved us and that, as I always say, will be a great day!
“For we know that if our earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal dwelling in the heavens, not made with hands.
So we are always confident and know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. In fact, we are confident, and we would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. Therefore, whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to be pleasing to him.”
~2 Corinthians 5:1, 6-9
I watched a Major League Baseball game last night. Then things got interesting.
I have no data to present to back up this hypothesis but it feels like constantly calling grown men who play professional sports ‘kids’, particularly baseball, is somehow contributing to the glut of immature beta males in American society. Maybe it’s at least a symptom of the low expectations society has of modern men.
Last night, following the Braves game in which Braves pitcher Jacob Webb unintentionally hit a Mets batter in the face with a 94 mph fastball, I mentioned to an Atlanta sportswriter on Twitter that I thought it was odd that he said of Webb, who is 27, “Things
like this are really tough.
Hope the kid is able to
get things sorted out.”
He took considerable umbrage with my question of “kid?” Even when I mentioned that he was 27 and hardly a kid, he continued to sort of berate me for daring to mention it, asking me if I was really going to engage in an argument over semantics in such a situation. I attempted to make my point, unsuccessfully, while several others took at least a small degree of joy in watching the guy mock me, which is fine since I’m not a kid and I can certainly handle it.
Well, today I’ve thought about the exchange even more and I’ve wondered to myself, until now, obviously, that if our insistence on calling grown men ‘kids’ has indirectly encouraged them to act like kids and act in ways that kids do. Pair something small like this with constant attacks on what big media refers to as toxic masculinity and the endless mockery of men for mansplaining, manspreading (a necessity of basic human anatomy), and a hundred other things they deem wrong with men and boys and maybe you’ve created a Mulligan stew of negativity where men shirk their responsibilities and behave like selfish children.
Whatever the case, men ceasing to accept their traditional roles in society as fathers and husbands and sons isn’t good for anyone. Traditional, and Biblical I might add, manhood is neither evil nor toxic. In fact, I’ll posit that it’s good for society when it’s lived out as it should be. Maybe it’s because we expect so little from some men, professional athletes, perhaps, that the world seems to be heading to hell in a handbasket in so many ways.
Whatever. I’m probably overthinking things like I usually do. I’m good at it, though, so why not. The Braves stink this year, by the way. Crazy kids.
First, let me say that I am a Christian. What I’m saying here is spoken from a Christian perspective and, for the most part, to other Christians. That said…
Keep your goals in mind. Make sure your goals aren’t impossible to achieve. Is it justice for the brutal death of George Floyd and others? That’s an attainable and noble goal. If it’s seeking a fairer and less intrusive manner for governments to govern or the way the agents of that government treat any specific people group based on race, creed, religion, nationality, sexuality, or other ways that are unconstitutional, press on. I’m with you.
If you’re looking to completely eradicate racism from society, certainly something most reasonable people wholeheartedly wish would happen, I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed. Racism, disliking or hating someone because of their skin color, is a sin. Humanity is sinful. We may not all be racist but we are all sinful. Every one of us. Ultimately, we are unable to liberate ourselves from sin. That’s why Jesus was born, lived, and gave His life on the cross. To liberate us from sin. Until the day He returns or until we die and meet Him face to face, we will be subject to the consequences of sin. Among those sins is racism. We can, and should, work hard to minimize it and its effects in society. We should love our fellow man and strive to be just and fair in all of our dealings with each other, no matter our station in life. We shouldn’t expect, though, that racism will up and disappear if we simply work hard enough or make enough statements against it on social media or go to church more or even if we make it illegal, a crime punishable by law.
There will always be a segment of humanity that hates. They’ll hate people of other races or a different religion or nationality or just about anything you can think of. Christians of any stripe ought to first identify as followers of Christ and connect and create community based on that common belief. All else is secondary. That doesn’t mean that all else is unimportant, it just means that we are called to imitate Jesus and love Him and follow His example and teachings first and foremost.
It may be a pipe dream but I believe it’s scriptural and, therefore, worth saying. We should all work hard to positively impact those in our sphere of influence but understand that only the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the saving power of the blood of Christ that God provided as a sacrifice for the sin of all of humanity can truly change the heart of man.
Keep working. Stay the course. Don’t forget to tell people about what Jesus did for them and one day, after this life is over, those who know, love, serve, and follow Him will be freed from the bondage of sin.
Until then, LGLP. (Love God, love people)
If virtue signaling by white people on social media was an Olympic sport, half my timeline would be headed to Tokyo next year. DOING what we post about is a heckuva lot harder than just talking about it.
BE kind and DO right by as many human beings as you can. Give a crap about your fellow man and hold your leaders responsible for their actions or lack thereof. All of them. Not just the ones you disagree with politically. Sometimes we can do that passively. Sometimes we have no choice but to do it actively. That can be uncomfortable and/or inconvenient. Maybe the guy you love and voted for actually IS part of the problem but you always want to blame the other guy, well, because he’s the other guy and your guy really LOVES America. Demand that the people you vote for hold themselves to the highest standards. If they don’t, campaign for the person who runs against them next time and send them home. If they are in a position of public SERVICE and they don’t appear to be SERVING, then they probably need to move on.
When you see injustice, do what you can to correct it and encourage others to do the same. Even if others aren’t willing, still do it. People in positions of authority and influence often forget what their purpose is and to remind them is an act of service to the community at large although I think answering the senseless violence of an individual or entity with even more violence on a mass scale does more damage than any perceived good.
Life is tough and unfair and brutal and fleeting. Just getting through it every day can be a royal pain in the tuchus. We could all use some help with it and we could all stand to offer some help to someone who needs it.
Anyway, looks like I just became a virtue signaling white person. Dadgum. Guess I’ll shut my idealist pie hole.
Y’all be good.
Wetumpka is the best place to live in the United States.
There are far too few people in this country who think for themselves, irrespective of political affiliation.
Too much ridiculous hyperbole.
Too many cults of personality.
Too much media more interested in pushing an agenda than informing the populace.
Too many weak-minded people who believe everything they hear from the “leaders” of their side.
Way, way, way too many politicians who see themselves as dignitaries instead of servants.
Too much government that wants to micromanage everything. Like, literally everything.
Too many people who want more government.
Too many people who fly into a rage at the sight of somebody just wearing a red hat.
Too many people whose behavior toward the leader of their political party borders on idol worship.
Too little use of simple, basic logic.
Too many intellectual weaklings who get offended all the dadgum time.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that even though there are lots of issues that are clearly black and white, there is also a lot more gray area than I used to be willing to acknowledge. Even if I am 100% convinced that I’m right on an issue itself, maybe the way I’ve handled that issue in my life is wrong.
Practice a little critical thinking. Educate yourself. Read something besides useless Facebook posts like this one. Entertain the possibility that you might just be wrong on an issue.
And, for goodness’ sake, calm down. Breathe, chill, relax, and maybe consider shutting up sometimes. It’s good for your blood pressure.
Enjoy your Saturday. I’ll be at World Market in a little while because they’re going out of business and I’d hate myself if I didn’t go try to pick up a bag or two of fancy pork skins or some Swedish candy I’ve never heard of for 50% off.
My mom would’ve been 89 today. She was a faithful wife to my dad for 61 years and she cooked me all the scrambled eggs and french fries (not at the same time) that I ever wanted. Best mom ever, hands-down.
She had a sharp wit and my dad was often on the receiving end of it. In fact, they were always picking at each other and I wish I could’ve appreciated it for what it was when I was watching it happen right in front of me. It was love. Love that transcended the temporal, born out of the spiritual. You don’t stay happily married for that long, especially with me as your kid, without having a relationship based on the truth of scripture.
Mom ran the business of our family. She always said that if my dad actually signed one of the checks she wrote to pay the bills instead of her signing his name, that the bank wouldn’t recognize the signature. She wrote the checks and dad delivered them like a good boy.
Mom kept us fed, in clean clothes, and she sang hymns while she did. All the time, in fact. For some reason, it bothered me when I was a child but if what comes out of the mouth is the overflow of the heart, then her heart was full of love for her Savior, her husband, and her children.
That’s not to say her saint-like patience with me didn’t occasionally run out. There were some occasions where it did and rather than spank me, she would inform me that she was going to tell Dad when he got home from wherever he happened to be which would then send me into a dramatic fit of tearfully repeating “please don’t, Mama” for the next 30 minutes.
She also defended, maybe sometimes to a fault, her baby boy (That’s me). I once said, under my breath and very quietly, “I wish you’d shut up” to my dad as he was going on to me about something I’d done wrong. He wasn’t supposed to have heard it. Ten minutes later as I came back into the living room, my dad asked me what I’d said. My blood ran cold as I stammered unintelligibly for about two seconds before he was up and had me by the arm with his left hand and was wearing out my backside with his right. I surely must’ve looked like a bullrider who had gotten his hand stuck in the rope as I flailed and flopped in a circle trying to minimize the impact of the stinging pops to my rear. After a few seconds, Mama told him that I’d had enough. Actually, her exact words were, “Stop it, James Earl! You’re gonna break his damn arm!” Feisty, she was. He stopped. I guess if the preacher’s wife uses a cuss-word to beseech the preacher to have mercy on the preacher’s kid, the preacher listens.
She loved Alabama football, Braves baseball, and she loved to see Auburn lose. Her favorite player was Terry Pendleton and she once wrote a letter to Skip Caray, the Braves’ play-by-play guy who also hosted the pregame show, to express her displeasure with Bobby Cox’s language during games. She could barely hear and, as such, she got pretty good at reading lips and she was none too pleased with Bobby’s language. She obviously believed that an occasional, very infrequent swear word could be useful in communicating an important thought or idea. In her estimation, grown men playing baseball on TV did not require such measures.
The TV was always loud because of her hearing loss and to this day, I still talk loud to anyone over the age of 65, regardless of how good or bad their hearing happens to be.
She was an incredible woman who modeled what a Christian wife and mother should be. She sang in the choir and taught Sunday school until arthritis mostly took away her legs. Once she stopped being able to go to church regularly, she would faithfully watch her second favorite preacher behind my dad, Jay Wolf at FBC Montgomery, on TV. Our Sunday afternoon visits always included a conversation that would begin with with “Today, Jay said…”, at which point we would discuss that Sunday’s message.
If there’s a salad bar in Heaven (my dad LOVED a big ol’ salad), she’s making him one just like she did at every Pizza Hut we ever went to as a family. She served. Always. She served Jesus, my dad, her family, and so, so many others in the churches and communities where we lived.
I could go on and on about her, and maybe one day I will. There are just too many wonderful things not to share them, even if only for my own enjoyment.
She’s been in Heaven since July of 2011. I know that up there she sings and walks and hears perfectly. To know that is good for this preacher’s kid’s heart. It keeps me – all of us – from being heartbroken because we can be sure that we’ll be there with her and my Dad again. Sooner rather than later because, for the Christian, whatever time we have left on this Earth is a nanosecond when compared to eternity in Heaven.
What a day that will be.
You parents that refuse to follow the pick-up/drop-off line rules at the school or the ones who park on side streets so you can circumvent the rules and let your kids walk across streets and through traffic drive me insane. Good grief.
In our family, we treat the morning drop-off line like a military exercise. Like our car is a plane and my daughter is a Navy Seal being dropped into enemy territory. Before we even get between the cones she’s got her backpack on, her athletic bag and lunchbox in hand, she has been instructed that she should pick her feet up high upon exit so as not to knock any debris from the floor onto the ground which would waste precious seconds of the mission…I mean, drop-off. The car stops and I bark the order, “GO, GO, GO!!! LOVE YOU! HAVE A GREAT DAY!” And with that, I return to base. Quick, clean, and considerate of all the other missions taking place behind me.
As for the side streetparkers…y’all…seriously? Don’t tell me it’s because you don’t want to be late for work. I saw some of y’all this morning and even though you may say you have to be somewhere important ASAP, your Tweety Bird pajama pants would seem to indicate otherwise. The car lines at the schools are there for a reason. Several reasons, actually. Believe it or not, one of those reasons isn’t to make your morning routine miserable. We’ve got plenty of liberals who already do a great job of that. One reason for the pick-up/drop-off line is to try and minimize chaos and add at least a modicum of order to an inherently hectic time. Another even more important reason: safety. There will be kids darting in many directions. Period. Can’t eliminate that. What teachers and administrators try to do with their car line plans is to minimize, as much as humanly possible, the chance that a child, darting or not, will somehow get hurt or worse during what will likely be the busiest and most anxiety-ridden time of their day. Other than that math test, of course.
Whatever the case, when you don’t follow the rules at the school, and there are a bunch of you who don’t, you’re making it harder for the rest of civilized society which is attempting to follow the rules, inconvenient though it may occasionally be, because it serves a greater good.
Kathie Lee and Hoda will still be there when you get home. Hop on in line and enjoy your morning.
A reminder: most of the real power-brokers in Washington couldn’t care less about how you feel about a “government shutdown,” whether you get to keep more of your own money or not, your feelings about immigration reform, or what you think about pretty much any of the most important, pressing issues of our time.
What they care about is raising enough cash to put their name in front of you a billion times a day during campaign season so that when it comes time to vote, you and I, like good little robots, put our mark next to their name and send them back to their throne…er…seat in congress to keep doing the same thing they’ve always done which is looking out for themselves and each other.
Party affiliation doesn’t matter behind the closed doors of their conference rooms and offices. What we see on TV and online is theater. It’s largely a ruse to try and fool you and me into thinking that they really care about the same things we care about. The darndest thing about it is that we usually believe them.
Practically every election sees a new name on the ballot to challenge the status quo and upset the proverbial apple cart of power and, almost without fail, we check the name of the same person we’ve always checked because, well, it’s just what we do. Without thinking. Without educating ourselves. Without taking the one real opportunity we have to try and effect some small measure of actual change in the current, corrupt system.
All the while, we mock and deride our fellow citizens who might dare to write-in a vote or cast their vote for a candidate without the all powerful ‘R’ or ‘D’ beside their name. We call it a wasted vote or even a vote for the “bad guys.” (Plot twist…most of them are the bad guys.) Then we have the nerve to be shocked and perplexed when what we end up getting is the same thing we’ve always gotten: a bunch of self-serving blowhards running our country into the ground.
Blame who you want for the looming government shutdown. Until we look in the mirror and blame the person we see looking back at us, most of that blame will be misplaced.
And with that, my rant is over. Hope your Saturday is splendid. I know mine will be.