It Shouldn’t Be This Hard

I just wrote a global email to my fellow parishioners. I mean, someone’s got to do it and hey, why not me?

We welcomed our priest in September of last year. There’s an adjustment period – no honeymoon period for priests; they are either hated or loved instantly, it appears. He is the most evangelical priest I have ever had and sometimes, I’m ashamed to say, that’s a little grating but gosh, he’s on fire for the Lord, he’s wonderful with people, and he’s a learned man. What’s not to like.

In January, he and I seemed to ‘click’ – I saw great humility in him and a sincere heart and without even realizing it, I was behind him 100 percent. I have done varied things to help him and he is kind enough to refer to me as his ministry partner.

Ok, so then the ‘you-know-what’ happened and things got closed right quick, very suddenly, closed faster than a door in a hurricane – including our churches, all across America. What’s a priest to do? He has even less electronic savvy than I do but I’m retired and have time so I did some research and his first stepping out into technology was doing live stream broadcasts of Morning Prayer on FaceBook. He did very well, considering he’s sitting in his home office talking to himself. There was no self-consciousness and any minor household distractions didn’t phase him. He did a great job.

When it became glaringly apparent that it was going to be some time before we could go back to church, he stepped up his game and started presenting what would have been his Sunday sermon in church to giving the sermon on Facebook. Again, he did a very good job and I was proud of him.

I went back into research mode at his request. He wanted to be able to do Bible study but wanted it interactive (or why bother? study needs give and take). I wasn’t wild about Zoom because it had only recently (at that time) been hacked and people with more time than brains were crashing meetings with porn and other types of offensive stuff. Someone other than me had suggested he use Zoom and he decided to go with that. Not a problem – it’s his message and his room, he can do as he sees fit.

Every week I send a global email to the parishioners reminding them about Zoom Bible study (including the meeting id# and the password, as well as the time we meet). Never, at any time during the Bible study have we had more than four people. One of our parishioners is a Ph.D in marine biology and a devout Anglican and he’s our official unofficial resident Koine Greek expert. I ask a lot of questions because no one else does. Fr. Ellis gives it his all and it’s really quite a good Bible study.

Today, there were only three of us at Bible study and one of the three was the priest! Give me a break! And take a wild guess how many showed up to watch the FaceBook sermon? C’mon – you can do it … Right! Three people not including the priest.

Why is it so hard to get folks to do Bible study? Surely they don’t all think they know everything they need to know about the Bible, about Jesus, about our relationship with God?

There’s only one thing I know for sure – it shouldn’t be this hard.

 

Walking …

Holy smokes. I’m just sitting here, shaking my head. What an odd morning this has been. Woke up way early, in the ‘o dark thirties’, left a funny/annoying email for a friend, scanned the headlines on the news feeds, had champion breakfast of wafers and Dew and went to the channel of a young man who does reaction videos to music he’s never heard before. And it was that video that sent me walking.

I was 17 years old then – the whole world ahead of me. But we don’t ever see that, at 17 years old. We think we’re always going to be 17 and anything beyond that seems like myth or science fiction or outright craziness. Who knew? And if someone had told me so, I would have nodded and then laughed it away. 17 is forever. It just is. I distinctly remember turning 17 – the breakfast conversation with my mom. Every year she would ask the same thing and the only time the answer changed was when I turned 17. She asked me, “Feel any older?” and I looked up at her and said yes. Because I really did feel older – like some amazing thing had happened overnight and I was suddenly this 17-year-old person – who was this new person? I remember it so clearly.

It was 1969. I don’t care what anybody says, there was only one event of import that year and that was Woodstock. Did you ever give a party and have 500,000 people show up? Woodstock did. No – I didn’t go. My dad was a cop; there was NO WAY one of his daughters was going to do something like that. It’s ok though – the documentaries are enough. The good ones, anyway. If you don’t mind the rental fee, you can view the documentary on YT (probably $3.99). I saw it free on PBS the following year. It was as good (but cleaner, lol!) as being there. The music acts – good gracious, Ignatius. Sly and the Family Stone (I wanna take you HIGHER, BOOM SHAKA LAKA), Joe Cocker – A Little Help from My Friends (I thought he had a physical impairment – turned out be the effects of drugs and alcohol), Joan Baez (I Dreamed About Joe Hill Last Night – organizer song), Jimi Hendrix – The National Anthem; Country Joe and the Fish – Whoopie, We’re All Gunna Die and the ‘F’ song, lol!, Lovin’ Spoonful (so lame against all that mega-talent). The list goes on. The music was something else. I don’t have sufficient adjectives. You either get it or you don’t.

So … yeah, it was a long walk this morning. A walk I seem to be taking a lot lately. Walking … down memory lane.

 

Alive and kickin’

Lots of talk recently about the Silent Majority. I am a member. There are thousands upon thousands of us across America. We’re tight-lipped; play our cards close to the chest. Watch everything; reveal nothing. We are the ninjas – we are the shadow that passes, seen out of the corner of the Left’s eye, almost imperceptible. That’s the way we like it.

I’ve mentioned before that we don’t do polls. The only poll that counts is on election day. The news would have you believe that Joe Biden is ahead in the polls; they’re quite right – of course, he is. The Woke Generation, the Karens, the ‘peaceful’ protesters, the Twitterati – those are the people who participate in polls. They love their voices to be heard – shout, scream, holler, answer a poll. They love to be ‘in your face’, put you up against the wall, get your undivided attention. They’ve done an excellent job so far. We watch, we note, we consider, we remember.

As I’ve lamented, I get every conceivable request for donations to every conceivable Republican across the United States – they use similar scare tactics; the world is going to end if President isn’t re-elected! It’s up to ME, they tell me, to ensure the life of the Constitution, the second amendment, free speech; it’s all up to me and my bank account. If that were true, we’d be in sorry shape, for sure. But I understand the theory behind this – how else to get folks to respond? Fear is a mighty tool – ask the Left. They’ve been using it for decades, all around the world. In case we didn’t get it the four thousandth time around, they are letting us know socialism is a real, very real, threat to America and we’d better be doing all we can to stop it, root it out, kill it once and for all.

I’m ashamed to say I love the latest news from Portland – what a hole that place is! Their mayor ‘found the love’ of the Left when they all but physically attacked him at a protest mob, at 11 o’clock at night, in front of a Federal Court building. He experienced what we always knew would happen. They don’t respect anything or anyone and you can never, ever make them happy. Inch = mile = on your property = doxing your personal information = coming in your house. How do ya like ’em now, Mayor?

We watch, we note, we consider, and we remember. The Silent Majority; alive and kickin’.

Not Polls

I’ve written about polls and why I don’t pay attention to them. The information they provide does not include the thousands of folks who won’t take a poll survey.

We’ve always known that the Silent Majority exists so this video was very interesting to me. I sort of like Tim Pool but I can’t watch a lot of his videos – I have trouble getting through one – because he talks too much. He exhausts my ears. Ben Shapiro talks a lot as well but he does it so quickly, he’s done before my ears complain about assault.

So the title of this video surprised me and I watched it. I fast forward when I need a break from him talking. In an instance like this, where he is sharing an article, moving the red bar allows me to get past him and into the purpose of what he is talking about.

I did a piece for NEO awhile back about the art of glass blowing and a Netflix program about that. I was sort of on a rant and after censoring myself (on my own, no coercion), the point of the piece was misdirected and the piece itself was weaker than my intention. I sent an email to NEO and basically apologized because I had self-censored and it damaged the article. Neo replied that I didn’t have to censor but then I’d have to take the flack that might have ensued and simply mentioned that going too far out of bounds might possibly put the site at risk.

Until I had written – and then watered down – that article, I didn’t realize that I censor myself a lot. The Cato article that Tim Pool shares in the above video was reinforcement of how far the Left has won on the use of words, and how even someone like me, with no particular axe to grind, moderates themselves just because we don’t want people ‘in our faces’. There is another aspect as well, I believe.

The idea that I can use the weakest, most gentle words to describe someone or something to which I may take exception, and those words could be used to support someone’s claim that I verbally abused them or a group. I am a full-grown adult; I take full responsibility for the things I say, do, and write.

In today’s climate, where does that leave me? Who do I talk to? Who do I share my opinions with? I proudly belong to a site in the United Kingdom that shares my views and right here, at our beloved National Energy Observer, I can share my thoughts and insights. That’s two places – only two places – where I feel safe enough to take a shot at airing my outlook on life and politics. In the whole big world. Two places.

This place, NEO, is my ‘not poll’.

 

Hilarious!

Girl and computer

I was in my early (is there such a thing?) forties when a neighbor taught me how to sew. I was so excited; I’d always wanted to sew and I was finally getting the chance. She showed me how to cut out a pattern, how to match up the markings, explained seam allowance, and all those things that help to make your sewing successful. We had the cut material, all pinned against accidental movement, and she told me to sit down. It was as exciting as sitting behind the wheel of a car for the first time when you are learning to drive. We take a folded piece of material for me to practice on, drop the presser foot on it, and she tells me to press the foot pedal to make the machine sew. A miracle! I sat there, tense as all get out, concentrating as hard as I could. And then I started laughing. I mean, laughing my behind off! I was so intent on this brand new thing I was doing, rather than watching the material against the line edge, my head was going up and down with the needle! Go ahead; it’s alright; she laughed, too.

I should probably never tell that story but it’s so innocently sweet, I can’t help myself. And now you won’t be surprised when I tell this …

I’ve watched all of Netflix I care to, a lot of the movies I’d like to see again aren’t on Amazon Prime, I’m bored like a kid during spring break so I needed to find something to capture my attention. I like to play mahjong solitaire but it’s basically a sight game, like a ‘collapse two’ game, matching tiles to remove them from the board. What’s fun, and why it never gets boring, is the puzzles are always in different patterns – sometimes flowers, sometimes letters or numbers, sometimes animal shapes. It has no sound so it doesn’t drive me – or anyone around me – crazy. I enjoy it very much but that much quiet can get to you. What to do? I had binged my favorite series on Netflix so often that I didn’t need to watch them, I could listen to the dialog and follow the stories and only look at them if there was an episode I especially liked, but I’d play mahjong and listen and I was a happy camper. And then, I watched the last episode of the last favorite series and now had nothing to keep me company while I played.

YouTube! Home of the sublime and the ridiculous! I rummaged around for a while and decided on the videos of Alexander Scourby reading the books of the Bible! Brilliant! I can waste time AND improve my soul and spirit at the same time! My day slows down (if that’s possible) around three and so I picked the Book of Matthew to finish today and then started Mark to keep me company when Matthew was finished. I am so grateful no one is around.

Grateful because here I sit, in a room all alone, nodding and agreeing with what Jesus is saying! Disciples ask a question and I answer it. Or, I give editorial comment, such as when the disciples say they can take the baptism that Jesus has (meaning the Cross) and I say, with attitude and head/neck movement, “Right; you THINK you can!”

See? I don’t need a party. I AM a party! I think I’m hilarious!

 

Knocking on my brain.

Years ago, while reading the Bible, I came across Isaiah 45:7. In that verse, God refers to the evil He creates. (KJV). It didn’t strike me any particular way at the time as I was caught up in the chapter and gist of its intent. For some reason, “The evil I do” got locked in my head. But I was younger then, working, mom, housewife – you know the drill – so I never did any research on it.

Retired now and having all the time in the world, when this verse came knocking on my brain again, I put other stuff down and decided to do some research. We all know God cannot ‘do’ evil, so what the heck is He talking about?

I pulled out of my bookshelves three Bibles; the Amplified Bible (very Protestant but a great concordance), a family Bible printed in 1940 (which is before ‘they’ stated taking verses out of the Bible and making other changes), and the King James Study Bible. The 1940 Bible uses the word ‘calamity’ in the place of the word ‘evil’. So I looked up calamity and the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary defined it as “a disastrous event marked by great loss and lasting distress and suffering”. So my thought process is – God creates ‘evil’ weather? Calamitous weather? Hmmm.

Then I looked up what causes hurricanes – a good question for Floridians and folks living in the Gulf States. This is what I found:

The three main components critical to the formation of a hurricane are warm water, moist warm air, and light upper winds. A hurricane begins when large masses of warm water and moist warm air come in contact with cooler air. This collision prompts the warm water vapor to cool down very fast and condense, eventually forming dense storm clouds and emptying out as heavy rain. During the condensation process, latent heat is emitted. This latent heat warms the cold air above, causing it to rise and pave the way for warmer and more humid air coming up from below, causing a cycle.

As the process continues, more warm air is attracted to the mounting storm, and more heat is moved from the ocean’s surface to the atmosphere. The constant heat exchange leads to a development in wind patterns that spin around a relatively calm center, similar to water spinning down a drain. If the conditions remain the same, meaning that there is enough fuel for the storm to continue developing, the rotating storm becomes even more powerful, eventually becoming a hurricane. As the hurricane continues to strengthen, an opening at the center known as the “eye” will form.  (from Science ABC – online)

That was simple enough even I could understand it. Then ‘tornados’ came to mind and my research showed me this: “

What Causes a Tornado? / How do Tornadoes Form?

A lot of people wonder: “How do tornadoes form?” These severe weather events typically stem from thunderstorms, although they don’t have to.

Wind shear is one of the most critical components for the formation of a tornado. Wind shear is the change of direction and speed of the wind with height. This can create a horizontal spinning effect within a storm cell. The rotating air of an updraft meets the rotating air of a downdraft and creates that iconic and scary funnel cloud you’re probably used to seeing.

Typically, this combination of winds can happen when moist, warm air meets cool, dry air. When these air masses meet, they create instability in the atmosphere, which allows wind to change direction, move faster, get higher, and start that rotation we mentioned above.” (from earthnetworks.com)

Finally, I went to my priest, Fr. Ellis, and asked him bluntly – do storms and tornadoes and natural disasters just happen or are they God-directed. Was God mad at New Orleans and so Katrina hit? His response was, “My personal belief is nothing can happen, good or bad, in the universe without GOD in full control, therefore nothing happens without God’s permission and its ultimate purpose, like in New Orleans, is the mystery. It’s raining now and just imagine if it was controlled by one angry 😤 person…”

All this research brings me to this; God created everything. Yes, the secular people and scientists will tell us these are normal, explainable occurrences. It’s true, through science, we have greatly improved our knowledge and understanding of them. But one has to wonder – is it chance only? Or is Someone trying to tell us something?

I suspect it will continue to knock on my brain.

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