Where’d Jesus Go At Church This Past Year?

I have a lot of friends who are pastoring churches. I attend a fair number of different religious assemblies during any given year. I am privy to some of the backstage talk that pastors share with each other. Based on that, and the public postings of some of them on social media, I have to wonder where that Jesus dude went this past year? Because it seems to me that some members of the clergy can’t let it go that “their” candidate lost the election. As a result, they seem to feel that it’s important to take a swipe at President Trump every time they get a chance. Whatsisname is lost in the shuffle.

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Aside from the fact that I’m pretty happy with his foreign policy decisions at this point, I just like the fact that Donald J. Trump spends a bit of every day throwing grenades into the swamp. So it’s no secret that I’m a fan. Unapologetically, I might add.

Consequently, my radar sends out a return every time someone from the pulpit slaps at the president. These slaps come in the form of snide comments, outright accusations of bad behavior, accusations of racism, accusations of hypocrisy.. the list is virtually endless. For purposes of this blog, I include social media from people who publicly identify as clergy as being the pulpit.

You might ask what’s wrong with that? After all, Bonhoffer … etc. The fact is, if you have something legitimate, and can point to a specific instance, with proof, of something that he’s done that’s in opposition to my faith values, I’ll be glad to look at it. But if you want to repeat what you read on the MSNBC website, or take The Grio as your solid foundational base, I’m probably not all that interested. Unless you have video, and it’s in context. That part counts – the sound bites, and edited clips of him dumping fish food on orphans of color are usually not quite accurate.

Why, you might ask, am I holding the pulpit to a higher standard than I observe myself? That’s easy – I’m some bozo author and blogger. These people are charged with spiritual welfare, and their petty grievances against the sitting president are detrimental to my worship experience. As a matter of fact, if they are in a Christian church (With the notable exception of Hispanic Catholics) they’re hurting the majority of their parishioners. But since I like facts, perhaps you should Google the election results of 2016 by faith group. Never mind – here’s a pretty well written item for you.

The vitriol you carry out of the voting booth should not be a part of Sunday, Wednesday, or Facebook services. People listen to you if you’re any good, and your political differences should not be a part of the sermon unless it’s a fundamental issue of evil. Now, I know many of you don’t like the man, but actual, documented evil is not the issue in the cases I’ve seen. Boorish behavior? Not evil. Twitter rants? Not evil. His party removing the adoption exemption in the first budgeting round? Again, not evil, and not even his to own. The list is pointless to enumerate, but you get the idea.

What happened to the frequent citations of 1 Timothy 2? Did that go by the wayside when Obama left the Whitehouse? Is not that imprecation as valid now as it was twelve months ago? Or should you be condemning and judging from the pulpit, in contradiction of what you preached just a year ago?

I’m not asking you to like the man. I am asking you to let it go because of your position in the public eye. It’s not just rude, but it’s hurtful. I know more than one ordained member of the clergy who has broadcast their request to be unfriended if you voted for Trump. My friendship, fellowship, shared faith, and history with you is nothing in comparison with this one vote? I think more highly of you than to take you up on that offer.

Next time you think about saying some of those things you’ve said of late, reflect for a moment. Because if you’re showing the same animus from the pulpit as you did on Facebook (and some of you are) you’re not just throwing away friends, you’re throwing away members of your congregation. You’re throwing away souls that came to you for nurturing.

I know you can do better.

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Posted in leadership, political, popular culture, ranting, Sincere Stuff, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Veteran’s Day Unlike Any Other For The Last 30 Years.

I’ve been writing about Ranger 12 for several years. Some posts drew more views than others. Here are two: Bangles On The Radio, Reagan In The White House, Memorial Services Back Home & I Stopped At The Spot Bar For A Drink With My Friends Pat & Craig.

Before I do anything else, I must apologize to the Rudolf family for hosing up their name all of these years. Yup. The author can’t spell.

This year, on a Veterans Day that looks to be cold and snowy in my home town, I am pleased to report that there is finally a permanent marker for my friend Craig Rudolf in Texas, at the Coastal Bend State Veterans Cemetery. Craig’s younger sister reached out to me after discovering those blog posts, and we have corresponded a bit. It was nice to be able to tell her about her brother – she was not aware of what a great guy he was to his peers, and how important his missions were to national security. Perhaps most importantly, I was able to clear up the issue of whether he was remembered. He is. The fact that hundreds of people have reacted to the Facebook post, and thousands have watched the video, is testimony to that fact.

Craig was lost at sea, along with his fellow crew members, when Ranger 12, a Navy EA-3B, crashed on the deck of the U.S.S. Nimitz following a mission, and slid off the edge and into the deep. No bodies were ever recovered. The ceremony is directly below. Please watch, and then hop to the next segment for some comments I want to share with you all. (I apologize that this video may be unavailable unless you are logged in to Facebook. The video was posted as part of his sister’s Facebook account, and because of that, it’s the only place it exists. Facebook does not easily allow you to export it. If you’re already on Facebook, please hit the like button on the post for this blog, and then hit the share button to open it up to your friends. Liking the author page on the right side of this page also helps me justify my blog to the I.R.S. every spring!)

Posted by Jamie Gordon N Familia on Monday, October 30, 2017

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What does all of this mean? It means that 30 years after his death, Craig Rudolf, Cryptologic Technician Interpretive Third Class, NAC (Naval Aircrew) (Arabic Linguist) and the rest of that crew will never grow old. They will be remembered by all of us that knew them as young men. Men who put it all on the line when they took the oath of office. It also means that 30 years later, thousands of views of this service have taken place on Facebook. Veterans who never met any of the crew of Ranger 12 are brothers and sisters through their service. That is what this Veterans Day means to me: shared sacrifice.

Think for a moment about the fact that five thousand people took a half-hour to remember a man whom they’d never met, but who left us all too soon. And they mourned the loss as though they’d sat side-by-side with him through typhoons, rocketed off the deck of an aircraft carrier in the dark with their knees touching, stomped their feet (and traded lies) while trying to keep from losing toes to frostbite in the Fulda Gap on a dark and snowy January night, carried 110 pounds of armor, weapons, and radios out of some remote base in Afghanistan so they could rescue the crew of an MRAP hit with an IED, or hacked their way through the jungles of Vietnam right behind him.

You see, it’s a bond that only a select few truly understand. We may fight and squabble between the services, but behind it all we’d die for each other. And sometimes some of us did just that – or offered ourselves up so that others might live. A large number of my comrades have wounds – physical and mental – that impact their lives every day. They were there when Uncle Sam called them and cashed the check they’d written. The check that was made out in the amount of their lives. Some got change back – others closed out their accounts. All of them, from the supply clerk that never got past the Des Moines Army National Guard Armory, to the crew of Ranger 12, were willing to go when called. All deserve our respect.

Decades later, the bonds are still firm and resilient. It doesn’t matter if you served seventy-five years ago and fought Hitler, or just got back from fighting ISIS – you’re my brother and sister by dint of that service. And our friends, who never grew old, are here among us in spirit.

Today, don’t just thank someone for their service (we appreciate it, please don’t misunderstand). Instead, take a moment to reflect on what these people actually promised to do: die for you if need be. I think we’ll close this out with Toby Keith’s American Soldier. It seems to put a perfect touch on the day.

Oh, and since this post will already be up on that day most sacred to the United States Marines: Happy Birthday to you, and I am glad to have served alongside you. Semper Fi.

 

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Can Someone Please Explain Jihad To Geraldo Rivera.

On October 31, 2017, there was another Jihadist attack on New York. This time it was an Uzbeki on a quest to meet virgins and dispatch the Great Satan. The usual morons paraded out and warned us to quit being Islamophobic. The head moron, in my viewing, was Geraldo Rivera. I had to turn the television off when he started a branch of his argument with, “I’m a war correspondent!”

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Uh, no. You’re a moron who tried to turn an empty safe into a new career. You’re a guy who got chucked out of the combat zone for disclosing troop positions on live television. You’re an incessant loudmouth who tries to shout his way out of almost every argument I’ve ever seen you engage in on television.

In short, you’re the obnoxious twit on the barstool next to me with all of the answers. Everyone knows I’ve got them, so why are you wasting my time.

Seriously, Geraldo, Shut Up! If you and Shepard Smith had a race to the bottom of the intellectual barrel, and set the single rule as letting emotion rule over fact – oh – – – Sorry, that is what you do. I apologize for not fully recognizing it at first.

My betters in the media are out of time. I routinely turned off the tube when Alan Colmes came on. I now hit the mute button every time Juan Williams takes a cleansing breath and opens his mouth more than 1/4 of an inch. I watch MSNBC & CNN only to elevate my blood pressure enough to blow the plaque out of my circulatory system.

I’m not asking that Kurt Schlichter and Tyrus be the only people on television. But it’s getting there fast.

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The Mainstream Media Is More Poorly Informed Regarding The Military Than A Rabid Dingo.

I watched the Pentagon briefing the other day and couldn’t decide if I wanted to laugh, throw stuff at the screen, or mock the imbeciles in the press. I have now made up my mind and the first two choices didn’t seem to fit.

Targeting Mode

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It would probably be sad if any of them had ever been in the military, as that would indicate some sort of head trauma that caused them to be that drifty. In that case, I wouldn’t be mocking them. But none of the morons who asked questions had ever served. That was painfully obvious.

Oh, and the picture of Stormy was random. I have heard that pictures draw interest to a blog. But, I digress.

I will paraphrase the question, and then give my answer. My apologies to General Dunford. He’s too much of a gentleman to answer like I do.

General Dunford

Question: Are these Special Forces soldiers taking too many risks?

Answer: Are you a moron. These guys live for this stuff. They’re really good at it. They volunteered. Look up “adrenaline junkie” and “professional soldier” and you’ll find a picture of them. They know their limits. I don’t think they reach them very often, and when they do, they let us know.

Question: Were they wearing body armor?

Answer: I don’t know. But it’s hotter than hell where they’re operating, they’re working with troops that don’t have body armor, and I’d guess probably not. They don’t have a bunch of risk-averse mommy types like you screwing up their day and making them wear their raincoats if it gets cloudy.

Question: Why haven’t we heard about these operations before?

Answer: Jeebus. We brief on this stuff all the time. It’s even in our Twitter feed. But you clowns only run from fire to fire, and so when nothing bad happens you don’t care. Your contempt for our world is just freaking fabulous.

Question: General, isn’t this Trump’s Benghazi?

Answer: Now I know the short bus is outside. No. This isn’t a consulate being attacked and ignored for almost a day by a National Command Authority that ignored Flash traffic about the incident. This was a bunch of Green Berets who were working in the middle of nowhere and things went to hell. We’re still trying to find out exactly what happened, but our guys got killed so it’s going to take a while to get the answers. But once we knew there was an issue, we moved heaven and earth to help them. We don’t, by the way, wake the President up every time there’s a fire fight anywhere in the world. But then again, he wasn’t heading to Vegas to fundraise, so we would have told him if it was warranted.

Question: Given the controversy about his call of condolence to the widow, isn’t this just emblematic of President Trump’s disparaging of the military?

Answer: Gunnery Sergeant: go do knife hands on that idiot.

That’s all I can stomach from you twits. If you have any real questions, give them to the Lance Corporal here, and she’ll kick your butt for me.

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Thank you, General Dunford. You’re a better man than I.

 

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When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

Posted in benghazi, Jihad, military, political, ranting, Stormy, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Say, God, We Need To Talk About This Garden.

About 1% of the haul

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Minnesotans obsess about the end of Winter. It’s not yet upon us in this moment, but our survival mechanism has kicked in and we’re already planning for Spring. It’s the only way you get through 5-6 months of freezing weather, icy sidewalks, frozen skin, and a lack of sunlight. Part of that obsession, in my case, is planning a garden.

Last year I had accumulated a bunch of gift cards for Amazon. I used them to buy seeds. Lots of seeds. (And Cliff bars…) I thought about how to lay out the garden, where it would go, and how to tend it. It filled many a frozen hour.

Come Spring, I had a couple of yards of garden soil trucked in, spread it on a vacant lot next to my house (the city didn’t seem to care if it was mowed or shoveled, I figured they wouldn’t object to a garden) and it was close to my garden hose. We had some warm days in April and I put in the seeds very early.

Now, months later, I’m on the second planting. I have harvested corn, watermelons, beets, zucchini, onions, and dill. Soon I will harvest sweet potatoes and the last of the zucchini. Most of all, I have harvested about a forty pounds of carrots, carefully shredded and stored to make carrot cake for the homeless meals.

God, can you explain to me why you let me do this? I have so much food that I’m dehydrating, freezing, and giving away at a furious pace. I haul zucchini in my backpack to the food shelf nearby. I have enough shredded carrots to make carrot cake for 150 and will soon have zucchini in an equal amount to make zucchini cake and muffins for a second gigantic Good Neighbor Meal.

I also have jars of vegetable chips I made in the dehydrator. Oh, how I love that wonderful machine from Cabelas. (Its making dehydrated cinnamon apple strips right now.)

Did I mention Rhubarb? Yeah, I have about 100 times as much of that as I can use as well.

Is this a message? Yes – I am blessed. I am able to kill off my stress and grow great things to eat. Not much better than a carrot fresh from the earth.

But next year, God, can you at least send someone to help with the weeding?

 

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When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

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