Friday, October 21, 2016

A Declaration of Independence

A young friend of mine posted this on his Facebook page today. Josh has found the words and analogy to express the sentiments of a number of my Evangelical friends as well as myself. He has given me permission to re-post his words here. Note the above title is mine, but though it is a declaration of independence from the bondage of men, it is also a declaration of dependence on Almighty God. It is to God Himself we commit our lives and cause.

For me this election has been the moment when I escaped from the abusive, alcoholic husband that is the GOP. For the past twenty years of my adult life, I’ve put up with his cycles of verbal and physical abuse, lies, broken promises, and promiscuity clinging to the hope that he can and will change and at least he puts a roof over my head and feeds me. This year is the last straw. The arrogant, self-assured bravado with which the party threatens me has no hold over me anymore. Yes, I know the alternative is to live on the street. Yes, I know I may have some very bad times. But I do it from my own free will. It is my choice for once. I can and will find people just like me who have broken away and do what I can with them. And, ultimately, my home is in heaven, not this hell of codependency and clutching at the false specters of unrequited and unearned hope in the corrupt politics of man.

So, I have broken free. My conscience is clear. When the ‘greater’ of two evils wins in three weeks, do not come to me blaming me for the outcome. You as a codependent enabler of the bloated corpse of the GOP are as much to blame as me… at least according to your logic. At least my conscience is clear. My vote matters, and I will now withhold it from those who in NO WISE deserve it.

That’s my political statement. My spiritual statement is this: Brace yourselves Christian. Persecution is here. We have been given a rare respite from it in comparison to the historical mean. Buckle up and stand firm on Christ. Love one another.

~ Josh Hall

Thursday, October 06, 2016

An Early Autumn Cloudy Afternoon

A Cloudy early Autumn Day.

Regarding the Presidential Debates

Sitting on a sofa on a Sunday afternoon.
Going to the candidates' debate.
Laugh about it, shout about it
When you've got to choose
Every way you look at this you lose.

~ Simon & Garfunkel, "Mrs. Robinson"

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Alaska Trip 2016

All of the pictures and one video from our recent three week visit to Alaska can be found here. Enjoy!

Of This and That...

I just deleted one of the posts from this blog that was originally published back on December 12, 2013. It was somewhat of a popular and a bit controversial post, but I came to the conclusion it really no longer served any positive useful purpose. Yes, I know some thought it never served any positive useful purpose to begin with, but I respectfully disagree with that assessment, and would cite their own protests as proof to the contrary.

My wife and I got back home yesterday after a three week visit to our daughter and family who moved to Alaska back at the end of June. They live in a small town in the interior where "going to town" means a 2 1/2 to 3 hour trip to the Palmer/Wasilla/Anchorage area. Words and pictures are inadequate to describe Alaska. I fell like I just got back from another world; another country. At this point in my life I could not and would not live there year around, but am thankful for the opportunities we have had to visit there. Our last visit before this trip was 16 years ago. It is a beautiful wild wilderness of a country, and I love being there and seeing it.

I have said very little about politics. I have no favor for either of the major party candidates, nor will I allow my conscience to be bound by the specious and mathematically flawed argument that a vote for a third party candidate is a vote for Hillary Clinton and her goosestepping minions. The electoral college diminishes greatly the influence of any one individual vote, especially in those states where the electoral college vote is allocated on the "winner takes all" basis which the vast majority of the states use. Whoever "wins" God still rules over the affairs of mankind and part of His judgement on a wicked secular materialistic nation wrapped up in its own hubris will be to give that nation the rulers such a nation thinks it wants and let us as a nation bear the consequence thereof.

Current Reading: "We Believe: Recovering the Essentials of the Apostles' Creed"; Michael Horton; (Word Publishing, 1998). Good stuff so far. I would encourage you to read it if you have not already.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Copper River Valley & Wrangell Mountian Range

Copper River Valley & the Wrangell Mountain Range..

This video was taken from the Copper River Bluffs near Glennallen Alaska. The Wrangell Mountain range is about 28 miles away from wheere I was standing. For a sense of perspective, Mt. Wrangell reaches a height of 2.4 miles.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

On Being an Autism Grandfather

For some time I’ve been meaning to sit down and write about my grand-daughter. She was our first grandchild. When we heard some 16 years ago that we had a grand-daughter we were excited. We looked forward expectantly to the Grandparents role with all the assumptions of normalcy; a grand-daughter who I could bounce on my knee, we could buy fancy dolls for, who we would read stories to and all the normal things a Grandfather does with a Grand-daughter.

But our Grand-daughter was not normal. Our daughter, her mother, noticed it when our first grandson came along. He developed differently than his older sister. She was obviously not where she should be in terms of “normal” development. And so we entered the world of autism. Our expectations of “normalcy” in relation to our grand-daughter were shattered. I have grieved and still to some degree grieve what could have been but was not.

We always hear of the "success stories"; the autistic children that respond well to this therapy or that therapy or some "miracle program" and we are happy for them. But as our grand-daughter grew older, hope for "the miracle" has faded considerably. I don't totally rule out a miracle, but neither do I hold my breath waiting and hoping for one.

We observed the strain her autism has been on our daughter’s family as well as ourselves. Her sibling brother at an early age sensed and felt the anxiety and uncertainty autism brought into his family. He too shared the emotional burden and psychological strain. We often were there to provide much needed respite time for her mother. There were some very extremely difficult times, but somehow by the mercy and grace of God we as an extended family pulled through.

Yes I do love her; autism and all. She is very very special. I think she knows I love her, and in her own way has expressed her love for me. If she was on the verbal end of the autism spectrum perhaps it would have been a little easier, but she is on the non-verbal part of the autism spectrum, and though there has been speech therapy and other things, she remains non-verbal. I have never heard her say, “I love you Grandpa…” She has expressed love to me in other ways and for that I am thankful, but I still feel a loss.

I don’t know why this happened. It just is, and despite all, she was created in God’s image and as such, her life has meaning, purpose and value in and of herself as a being created in the image of God. I pray for her just as much as I pray for her two younger “normal” brothers. My hope is that in the resurrection when all things are restored to the fullness of what they were meant to be, that I will finally hear those words I have so longed to hear…

“I love you Grandpa…”