Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Pope, Yom Kippur, Putin, Christendom, Obama, Ahead ....

The title for this blog seems to capture this deeply rooted sense that the world, as we know it, is certainly transforming at a pace and depth most could never have imagined.  I certainly am not Catholic but I am a born again Christian and will never regret that announcement to any and all that would see it and hear it. Watching the never ending TV coverage of a mere  human in a white uniform be treated as a holy man with healing powers, people hanging on every syllable just baffled me quite frankly.  This all transcends partisan politics even though that divide with leap into confluence in the next few hours as this Pope heads to Congress tomorrow to address We the People from that Congressional pulpit. I find that irksome so you can know!

There are seemingly so many tsunamis crashing toward each other such as blatant Russian aggression now in Syria in military support of Bashar al Assad.  This will translate, over time, as Russia being more dominate in Middle Eastern oil-driven nations; Russian dominance all while America is under a hands-off POTUS and Congress.  This week is a major Jewish holiday in celebration of their new year.  I find that an interesting integer in the equation of geopolitical events.  Four million displaced refugees from Syria seeking a place to call a home and far too many nations turn their backs; a price will be paid for this!

As the US POTUS electioneering is escalating and the field is thinning, I cannot escape this sense that Rome is burning as so many of Nero's instruments are playing and we are therefore not focused on the core matters that face our nation and our world.  In watching Obama and his wife with this Pope, I am reminded of his hand kissing toward at the inception of his Presidency to the oil-rich kings in the Middle East as he apologized for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.  We are still paying for that poorly call game plan play I believe.

America since 9/11 and with the entrance of Obama under a huge electoral mandate has seen our global and internal status take unheard of steps backward. Celebration of LGBT, same sex marriage etc, in programming, commercials, movies; it just staggers my mind and causes my heart to hurt. But alas, that is the Obama Game Plan playing out via the auspices of the US Congress and the SCOTUS as the backstop.  Our nation will be a heavy price for this craziness and we the Christians will certainly be made the focus of more litigation, bullying, misogynous idealism as the days go forward.

At sixty-seven years old, I am dumbfounded at the pace of deterioration of my nation. I am thankful to attend a church where the Bible is preached boldly and societal issues that are now promoted or ignored are strongly preached and taught from pulpits and lecterns and songs of praise to a living God are freely absorbed. PRAISE GOD for that!

I will end this blog simply; God is in control, it is His game plan and we know who wins in the end!

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Waters They Chop Higher

These days since my last blog have shown me the choppiness of our national waters is growing exponentially. There are things literally daily I seek to understand but my well seems to have run dry.  The American people, at least the ones I know, feel the Iran Nuclear Agreement is a disaster looking for a place to land. But I watch the Liberals and feel like I must still be on Sand Mountain with a flat tire. My Alabama friends will understand that.

The equity markets are telling us a major story with the huge swings almost every other day. Markets are a reflection of the culture thus one could assume the culture is in shock. China has cooled and the world is getting pneumonia.  Crude oil prices are at historical lows but price of gasoline, like equity indexes are telling us a more dismal story to come. To see gasoline here in Canton go from $1.93 to$2.29 in two blocks is, well, suspected criminal behavior.

Having worked in management for many years, you learn to look for the right dots that are formative of the core reality thus not getting hung up on peripheral white noise which is so easy to happen.  I have spoken many times of the societal value deterioration and the family unit evaporation that are major contributors to our national backward steps.  I will insert here once more that the percent of population addicted drugs and alcohol is one of the most understated and misunderstood realities of our life. There is consequence we are experiencing but the trends show the results ahead will again worsen exponentially.  Heroine, meth, cocaine, etc are rampant as are guns, gangs and killings.  Where is the outrage!

Given this, the link is to a Foreign affairs article about Henry Kissinger and the worlds he has touched and impacted.  It is an academic piece that is filled to the brim of knowledge so please, take the time to read it and then read my upload paragraphs for context and implication.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Shadows

Good morning. Been several days since I did a blog but have awakened this morning in this strange state of quiet with my wife in Pennsylvania with our daughter increasing the GDP of our nation under the guise of Christmas present purchasing but it is really more about them having an annual mother-daughter time away which I think is wonderful.  I am choosing to let longer periods of time between blogs be an ingredient of seasoning and watching the ebb and flow of our times more closely and more deeply.   

I heard someone state a few weeks ago that you define life as a set and subset of memories. For some reason, that few words intrigued me and the essence of its meaning took root deep inside me. As a result I have found myself more often thinking more deeply, watching more closely, listening more clearly to people, to events; to the drumbeat of life.  The other night, as example, I was rubbing the right side of my neck and my fingers came to rest on my jugular where I found myself feeling and counting heartbeats.  The rhythm of the pulse was strong and steady in its thump-thump. In that few moments, this thing called life and its array of memories began to flood my brain; it was an interesting few moments please know! It is at that threshold my mind has come to rest this morning as I arose from my quiet bed and quiet home drinking my quiet coffee and thinking about, well, life as a set of memories.

Having now gone through my normal body of media information which is standard for me each morning, I realize that media, especially print media, is built on finding the bad in our lives, developing eye-grabbing headlines and then take your brain down a pathway hoping to evoke a mental "oh my" triggered response.  I get that for it sells.

Shadows are images real or imagined or remembered through the layers of time and rationalization I believe you will agree. Dreams continue to be an amazing element of living.  Being a dreamer, I can still wonder about the fact that up until roughly three months ago, after working for Goodyear for thirty-six years 95% plus of my dreams were Goodyear-centric. Each morning I would wake wondering many times why I would dream such and such or is that dream trying to tell me something!  It told me one thing undeniably that I allowed my career to dominate me completely thus my brain and its memory banks were dominated as well. I find that sad, now! But it is what it is but interestingly in the last few months that all seems to have been replaced with other types of dreams; shadows on my wall of life.

Memories are powerful images are they not?  Memories, to me, are shadows of life some of which you see at the time while others are there but not visible because your view if obstructed by other priorities; I plead guilty! For me, very personally, I have come to realize that my family for too many years of my life has been asked to metaphorically sit in the lower regions of my brain as other "more pressing" events and actions took center stage with me. That is so sad!  As the world seem to be melting down before our eyes with Syria, Putin, ISIL, this terrible national leadership we are under societal values being demeaned and silenced for the sake of equality and rights meaning no absolutely, for police targeting fueled by race baiting and political favoritism, family structure and values being a relic of the past, national debt immeasurable and growing exponentially each quarter, politics more and more money-driven and not quality of candidate focused .... see what I mean?

Last night our Ms Hope fell and cut her knee requiring six stitches and as I saw the photos my son sent from the ER, I was quickly reminded of the value of what is important in life and falling crude oil prices, for example, is certainly not on the scale of our baby girl being hurt.  So this morning my brain is in hyper-drive in my memory bank like slowly turning the pages of old photo albums you have not seen in far too long.  Some of the memories are still very painful but time tends to ease that I realize.  So many of my memories trigger smiles as I look at the many photos stationed throughout our home in being taken aback at how quickly my grand babies are growing and I am missing so much as I did with my two children.

I will close with a statement of reality. Life is about memories but what we choose to remember is just that; sets of choices to put ourselves into the place and position for our mental cameras to turn on.  At sixty-seven and being around great numbers of elderly, many infirmed, saints each week in speaking and singing. I often wonder what they are seeing and will remember and always intrigued by the life history sitting in each of the seats watching and listening to me realizing that what I am doing is being recorded in their minds to be played back as the days grow shorter.

So this morning I am feeling really, really blessed!