Changes


pexels-photo-1010513.jpegI found myself today thinking about how things have changed in my lifetime. So much is different, so much progress, so many technological developments. Things un-thought of in my youth are the norm today.

In one respect that is the history of the world. Business changes, jobs change, technology changes. More and faster than most young people can appreciate. I was born a little over 60 years ago. A plane in the sky was a novelty, home entertainment was gathering together to listen to the radio. Not all homes had electricity, or a phone. If you grew up in the country as I did, and had a phone, you had to listen before dialing to make sure no one else was using the line. If it rang, you counted the rings to know if it was yours, as several houses shared the same line.

Tablets? Calculators? Cell Phones? Nope, oh there were computers, they filled rooms, and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to do only simple math. (See the movie Hidden Figures for a good example of all of this.) Today you carry more computing power on you wrist or in your pocket than existed in the entire world then. I can still remember the excitement when we got our first TV set. It was a piece of furniture, a big wooden cabinet with a screen not much bigger than your tablet that produced a black and white picture. We had three stations, all a little bit snowy, that went off the air each night at midnight.

I remember staring at the sky in wonder, and yes a little fear, as Sputnik flew by in space, the excitement of watching John Glenn take off and then safely return, or watching Neil Armstrong take that “small step for man …” I remember when the next state was like a foreign country and the opposite coast an exotic land you might be lucky enough to see by train some day.

I could go on and on, but my point is simply this, the things we take for granted today were unheard of a mere fifty years ago. What was state of the art then is ancient history today. Even the jobs have changed, a lot. When I graduated, few went to college, when my kids graduated, everyone who wanted a job went to college. Now I am starting to see the pendulum starting to swing the other way. Increasingly, the jobs that command the really high salaries, the place where there are more jobs than workers are in the skilled trades, artisans, people who know how to work with their hands, who can build, repair, create things of utility and things of beauty. How long or how far will that pendulum swing? I have no idea, but eventually it’ll swing back, it always does.

I was just reminded of something; I was watching a grandchild at a country fair, not long ago. She was in a greased pig catching contest. She won, not because she was bigger, faster or stronger than the other kids, but because she watched. Instead of chasing the pig, she watched it, and tried to anticipate where it would be, and then ran to that spot. To the younger ones reading this, if you want to get ahead, stop, look and listen. Figure the job that will take you to where you want to be, not tomorrow, next year, or in ten years, but in 20, 30, 40 years. Then get the education you will need to get that job and be ready for what is to come. You may not nail it, but you’ll come close. startup-photos.jpg

Oh one last thing, while you’re looking make sure it’s the job YOU WANT, not what someone else tells you you should have, or ought to have, or can do, but the one that you want. And take time to enjoy life, family, friends, nature. If you do, you’ll look back at my age with no regrets. If you do not ….

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“Why Would Someone Want a High Capacity Gun?”


This was a question asked by a friend of mine recently. First I appreciate that she did not use the term “Assault Rifle.” Despite the efforts of many in the media and politics to redefine the term, assault rifle has a very specific meaning. According to US Army experts at Picatinny Arsenal,  “The definition of an “assault rifle” is “Assault rifles are short, compact, select-fire (i.e. both semiautomatic and full-automatic) weapons that fire a cartridge intermediate in power between submachinegun and rifle cartridges.” The rifles owned by the general public do not meet that definition, they are not assault rifles. Scary and military looking doth not an assault rifle make.

While I do not own any guns capable of accepting large capacity magazines, I will try to address the question. There are a number of reasons, first, they are plain old fun to shoot. Second, the reality is in most self defense situations, even involving trained, experienced officers, the average number of round fired in a one on one situation is around 10. The reality is in a tactical situation such as that it is hard to hit someone who is shooting at you, especially if they are moving. Shooting the gun out of the hand, or the running double tap to the head makes for good fiction, but it is just that, fiction. But perhaps most importantly, especially in light of some things in the news, we need to look at and understand what our founders intended when they wrote the Second Amendment. Please note, that all quotes below are taken directly from the documents noted, not from some pro or anti gun website.

George Washington was both a military man and a politician. He was also very cognizant of his place in history, with most scholars agreeing that he was especially aware that as our first president, everything he said and did would serve to establish precedent. In his first inaugural address, he had this to say:

“A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite; and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent of others for essential, particularly military, supplies.”

James Madison, “The Father of the Constitution” played a pivotal role in drafting both the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. In fact, he drafted the 2nd Amendment. His original draft was a little different than what we have today:

“The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.”

It is worth noting at this point that the word regulated in that day was understood to mean well practiced and trained. More on that later perhaps.

Madison also penned Federalist Paper Number 46, in that, he wrote:

“… Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government …. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it. Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.”

He said more, but that’s long enough.

Alexander Hamilton also wrote several of the Federalist Papers, most notably for our purposes here numbers 28 and 29. In Federalist 28, he wrote:

“If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government….”

In Federalist Number 29:

“…but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights….”

And:

“What plan for the regulation of the militia may be pursued by the national government is impossible to be foreseen…The project of disciplining all the militia of the United States is as futile as it would be injurious if it were capable of being carried into execution… Little more can reasonably be aimed at with the respect to the people at large than to have them properly armed and equipped; and in order to see that this be not neglected, it will be necessary to assemble them once or twice in the course of a year.”

I could go on and quote many others, but for sake of brevity I will move on.  What is abundantly clear is that the founders saw the right to bear arms as a counter to the Federal Government or standing army overstepping their bounds.

Some might argue that the weapons then were different then. Yes they were, in fact, the Kentucky Long Rifle style weapons the average farmer and woodsman had was superior in many ways to the Brown Bess style weapon used by most standing armies. The rate of fire was not quite as fast, but they were much more accurate and had a longer effective range. Today, the weapons held by our standing army are vastly superior to those held by civilians. Still about 100 million gun owners should be enough to give any army pause. This has gone on long enough for now. So I will end it here.

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Blown Away


From The Pen of a Ready Writer

Such a month – so far – and it is only the 12th of December! My gifts that are for the out of town relatives are already shipped (this is a first)! I am blown away. Thank you, Lord.

Our family plans for gathering and celebrating Christmas are coming together so easily!

I am blown away! Amazing.

And – and- Suddenly, today, faster than I could have ever hoped – my childhood dream came true. A contact from my publisher called and announced that my first book was just put on Amazon. Wow. It’s really happening! I am published. I’m blown away!

God has overwhelmed me with His good surprise and I am struck with awe and wonder. It is so hard to get much work done since it is such a surprise. Things are changing, and there is a lot to think about. Being a published author means excitement…

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Faith Vs. Fear


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Yesterday a military acquaintance of mine posted some quotes about letting go, and fear of change. As I read this I kept thinking of the Israelites in the desert. Moses sent 12 men into the land to spy it out and see what it held. Twelve leaders went out, one from each tribe, and 12 saw that the land was good, but because 10 could not see beyond their fear, lacked the courage to step into their promise by faith, the entire nation wandered in the desert for 40 years, waiting for the next generation to rise up and step into their promise. The irony is, that it only took them 40 days to reach their promise, but 40 years of marching around the mountain to walk into that promise. I wonder how many times we have “gone round the mountain” needlessly because we lacked the courage to step forward.

But the people who dwell there are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large; moreover, there we saw the sons of Anak [of great stature and courage]. Amalek dwells in the land of the South (the Negeb); the Hittite, the Jebusite, and the Amorite dwell in the hill country; and the Canaanite dwells by the sea and along by the side of the Jordan [River]. Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once and possess it; we are well able to conquer it. But his fellow scouts said, We are not able to go up against the people [of Canaan], for they are stronger than we are. So they brought the Israelites an evil report of the land which they had scouted out, saying, The land through which we went to spy it out is a land that devours its inhabitants. And all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature” Numbers 13:27-32

Today, he posted some quotes on optimism vs pessimism, and I saw a distinct connection; 10 of the spies said: “We are not able to go up against the people [of Canaan], for they are stronger than we are. So they brought the Israelites an evil report of the land which they had scouted out, saying, The land through which we went to spy it out is a land that devours its inhabitants. And all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature. There we saw the Nephilim [or giants], the sons of Anak, who come from the giants; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.” But Caleb had a different report: “Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once and possess it; we are well able to conquer it.” The in Chapter 14, they continue: “And they said to all the company of Israelites, The land through which we passed as scouts is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land flowing with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the Lord, neither fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their defense and the shadow [of protection] is removed from over them, but the Lord is with us. Fear them not.”

With faith filled eyes, they were able to see what the others could not. They saw the very real obstacles before them falling because of the favor of the Lord. They were able to say as Paul did to the Philippians “I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].” Philippians 4:13
Be Blessed in Him
Kevin

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God and the Bubble Tea


God is totally current! As you may be aware, I love to write and draw. My journal is full of illustrations of principles and Bible verses, and ideas. I usually ask God to inspire the drawings, beca…

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To Vote or Not To Vote


In a few days, we will go to the polls to make what may be the single most pivotal decision we have made in many years. Tuesday, we will choose our next president. Well technically, we will choose the electors who will choose the next president, but anyway …. Never has the choice been so clear, never have the differences been so stark, and never has the choices been so critical.

In the balance hangs the fate of this nation, with one, and quite likely more Supreme Court Justices to be appointed by the next president. That is what we face, a decision that could affect us for decades. The world stands at the door of multiple crises, ISIS, the Middle East in general, North Korea and Iran, not to mention Russia and China casting their eyes on their neighbors, and moving aggressively to expand their influence and territory. In the midst of this, we struggle with porous borders, anger and discontent simmering in many cities, foreign policy that seems to drift aimlessly with no clear goal, and a military that is tired, overtaxed, and struggling to maintain equipment that in many cases has exceeded it’s intended service life.

I have talked to many, too many who state they can not in good conscience vote for either of the major candidates. Some plan to stay home, some plan to vote for everything but the president and some for one of the third party candidates. After much prayer and research I have come to the conclusion that none of these are viable responses.

As I said, I have done the research, and the only effect a third party candidate has ever had was taking votes from the candidate most closely aligned with their platform. Before you bring it up, no, Lincoln and the Republicans were not the third part candidates, nor was it a three way race in 1860. There were in fact four parties running, and the Whigs which had been the second party had effectively collapsed since the 1856 election and did not field a candidate. In that sense, the Republican Party became the second party.

Given that, and given the enormity of the gulf between parties, and the very real issues we are facing, I can not in good conscience not vote. Nor can I in good conscience vote for someone with a snowball’s chance in a very warm place of winning. We may not like the candidate’s morals, or their ethics, but each one has set forth a platform endorsed by the party. These platforms state clearly what they stand for and against. One stands with God’s will, not perfectly, but then again we are man. The other is opposed, very opposed.

Trump was not my first choice, nor second or third, I still have some reservations, but he is the choice, and while I do not pretend to understand it, I have come to the conclusion that in this election he is the God choice. Many forget that we are not electing the pastor of the US, but the leader. I just hope Trump can be that leader. I know Hillary can not.

According to estimates, as many as 4 million Christian voters stayed home rather than vote for Romney. An additional 6 million who self identified as Evangelicals voted for Obama. Were some or many of them people who refused to vote for Romney because he did not fit their preconception of a “Christian Candidate”? I don’t know, but this I do know, if enough believers stay away as they did in the last election, Hillary WILL be elected, and the fruit of that will be very bitter indeed. The damage done by her agenda and her appointments will last for generations, and may indeed be irreparable.

Mark these words well, those who do not vote, will have no one to blame for what is to come but themselves. So if you have not voted already get out and vote Tuesday. The choices are clear, even stark, one candidate and platform stands for the things close to God’s heart. OhTrump is not perfect, not by a long shot, but he has made a stand for the things of God, and he has chosen many godly men and women to advise him. The other stands opposed to those things, with equally if not more questionable morals. She has made a stand, for the ending of life, both new and old, for bigger government and with it more government intrusion into our lives, and surrounding herself with like minded people. Make no mistake; the justices she appoints will be anti life, anti first and second amendment, and pro globalization. Chose which future you want, because the man or woman who wins will determine your future and the future of the children and grandchildren to come.

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Thoughts on Memorial Day


As Memorial Day approaches I find my thoughts turning to the many friends and family who have passed on in the service of their country. Classmates who went to that hell hole we called Nam never to return, those who returned only to die slowly from exposure to toxins like agent orange. Those who returned only to fight the battles every day and night for the rest of their lives. Those who gave their all in the Cold War, no shooting perhaps, but as much a war as any other. Those who fought and died in Korea. Our parents, aunts and uncles, and I suppose for some of you younguns grandparents, who fought for freedom in WWII, Pacific for my father, Europe for my Father in Law. No my folks didn’t die, but they are all gone now. Let us not forget those who went before them, WWI, Civil War, and so many others. Nor can we omit those who have come after us, The Gulf Wars, Afghanistan, the list goes on.

But perhaps our greatest gratitude should be reserved for those who stood up and said count me in back in the 1770s, for they made this great country possible, by rising up in the face of impossible odds and saying, “Count me in, I’ll do my part.” That often ragtag bunch stood against the greatest military power in the world, and they did it many times with only the clothes on their backs, not enough food, ammunition, or training, but they did it.

I also think of the many who came back and never quite forgave themselves for that. The WWII vet whose entire platoon died in the Ardennes, He survived only because he was pulled from the line for OCS the day before the battle. He passed on some years ago, but if he were here today I would say to him what I have to others. “We all signed the same check. It is only by the grace of God, that ours were not collected upon.” We may never know why that bother or sister was chosen, and we were spared, just that we were, and that God had a purpose for that.

To the brothers and sisters still with us, be at peace, to those who have gone before, fair winds and following seas, rest in peace.

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