Christmas 2013

As Christmas comes upon us again, here are some words
to think about. Sometimes we feel less than safe and
secure in our own little worlds, yet how often do we
stop to think about how better off many of us are in
this country than so many in the rest of the world?

I Heard Bells

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, goodwill to men

I thought how as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace of earth, goodwill to men

And in despair I bowed my head
“There is no peace on earth,” I said
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
“Of peace on earth, goodwill to men”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
“The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
“With peace on earth, goodwill to men.”

Till, ringing, singing in its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, goodwill to men!

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

May your Christmas be full of joy and happiness, and
too, may you think of the many others who will still
not know those Christmas feelings wherever they are.

John and Susan Young

A Better Way

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Happy Thanksgiving?

Today is Thanksgiving. My wife Sue is busy in the kitchen assembling a pumpkin pie and I am/was sitting here wondering why in the world am I blankly staring at a boring professional football game. It’s almost like that is all of what Thanksgiving is all about, pumpkin pies and pro football games. And I realize that that may be the epitome of what Thanksgiving has devolved into. That and the constant barrage of Black Friday ads that have been going on for weeks. In it all, there has been hardly a mention of Thanksgiving or why we even bother with it any more. Maybe I am just too much of a traditionalist, or too sentimental, or something. Maybe it will be said that it is all a little bit of sour grapes to me, since most of those I grew up with are gone and with others it seems resentment grinds through glaciers of ice and bitter cold. Our (Sue and I) two children excepted from that, they both have called with well wishes even though they couldn’t be here with us. But before I let this go any further, I can’t help but think of the countless numbers of people who have lost friends, family, live lives alone, starve and huddle in the streets and gutters and fields and crumbled huts and shacks if they have any shelter at all. They have no Thanksgiving at all and billions don’t even know such a thing exists. What the hell kind of world do we live in that people can dance in the streets at a parade while that majority of the population of the world starves, often sick and homeless and living in abject poverty. What a miserable and disgusting dichotomy!

In some of my efforts to convey what we have been trying to do all these years, and why, we have been mocked and scorned because we didn’t match up with the ideas of others about how God might see things or what He might have to say about all of this. Well, I am indeed thankful for the help my wife and I get from God, but I am hardly thankful for the conditions of the world around us. I don’t blame that on God however, I blame it in those who can see it as well as we can, yet do nothing but tokenism and spew a lot of rhetoric about how “blessed” they are. Really? If God is so blessing them, how does He explain the billions not so blessed? Or maybe it isn’t God at all doing the blessing. Maybe He too wonders what in the world is going on; that there should be absolutely no one who could imagine being “blessed” by Him with so many others being left out. Is that the way God works? Is that what the “blessed” people really believe? We have worked years trying to learn the ways to make a world much better than what is here now, and at no time in that have we ever understood from God that we were being “blessed” in all the help we have received from Him. So it seems to me that if we really do work for God (we do) and have been experiencing His version of help all these years (a lot of which has been pretty astounding for its choice and timeliness), much if not all of this “blessed” stuff people are proclaiming they are experiencing from God just may not be from Him at all. I doubt that many will agree with me, but they ought to, and follow that up with some serious thinking about just who is doing all that “blessing”.

Ok, so we are pouring salt on your wounded Thanksgiving. I don’t imagine it will really bother too many people, words like these are easy to dismiss and even easier to ignore entirely. Your Thanksgiving isn’t even wounded at all you say, that would just be a figment of my imagination. Well, like the guy said, “Just saying, that’s all. Just saying…”

But, you just might try to think about it a little and maybe even spend a little time wondering how you might learn from God why He isn’t really doing any of that “blessing”. There is not a lot wrong with seeing that things have gone your way a little or a lot better than others. But try to figure out that it likely is not God who has made that possible. People in better shape are in better shape to help those who are not. So being in better shape does not mean it has to be bad. It just means that you have it better than many others. Helping means you don’t go so far forward you can’t reach back to help. Think of that when you go proclaiming how “blessed” you are…

The world will be better when everyone can say in any form the words that still translate into, “Happy Thanksgiving”.

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Stumble perhaps, but go on for sure

Well, things can go in directions you don’t intend at times. A short time ago I mentioned that I expected we would have a few things to say about the Better Way we have been working on for some time. So we went ahead and wrote a very long and involved blog on same. Then first my computer started acting up more than usual, then the OS, Windows 7, decides to blow several gaskets all at the same time. Long story short, I end up having to reload a new Win 7 version and in the process, lose everything that was on my computer. How familiar does that sound? You would think I would have known better, and I did, at least afterward. I really didn’t think I would lose files and all, just overwrite the old OS with the new OS. Didn’t work that way…

What I am doing now is continuing on, while I think about how useful all of that writing was. It seems certain that we will talk more about the Better Way, but just how we do that I haven’t figured out yet. I was pretty sure of what I was writing, but given the experience I had, I am giving it all some more thought. The BW (Better Way) is to make things better. It isn’t just blather about the way things are and the way they ought to be. For one thing, things are not controlled by us, they are controlled by people who have some very different ideas of what should and should not be. Unequivocally certain is the fact that it is God who has to determine what is best, and it is going to be God who we need to learn from if that better is to ever come about. That isn’t a religious point, it is a simple fact of a reality that far too many people seem to miss. So what we are doing is just backing up some and doing what we can to make sure that it is God to whom we listen. I can’t see the world ever getting better if we leave God out of it and look to get our direction from politics, science, or a multitude of conflicting religions. Sadly, those latter sources are where people have turned to in droves. I was stating some of that in my lost writing, maybe a bit too bluntly. So I will try again, listen as carefully as I can, learn as much as I can, and try to convey that in the best way possible. I will also try to have a better back-up system for my writing…

Until next time…

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Anyone Interested?

We thought we would make a quick post to see if anyone is interested in what we are writing. A simple comment would help. Thanks!

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Despite my ambitions to increase my blog contributions, just about the opposite has happened. I have been beset with a seeming plethora of health and medical issues that have tapped both my strength and health. This all seems to be quite contrary to my oft-repeated beliefs that just about the opposite would eventually happen. Besides this circumstance leaving me in a bit of an awkward position, it also serves to challenge some of my personal beliefs. So, if I can, I am going to make an attempt at addressing this (or these) issue(s) in this writing.

First of all, as has been the continuing case, my; our attempts to tell others of my beliefs and understandings has led to the usual brush-off in one form or another. I find that people with a stronger religious influence seem to be quicker to reject, and those with less of that base showing at least initially more interest. In a way that isn’t much of a surprise, but it is still considerably disappointing. Yet all I can really do is hold to what I understand and ride it out. In many ways that is sad, but it is about all I can do for the moment. Waiting is indeed a hard thing to do when it seems your life depends on it. In truth however, my life (and those of anyone else), depends first on God, then perhaps to varying degrees on others.

I could speculate until I am blue in the face as to why people with a stronger religious base are quicker to reject my ideas and teachings. Maybe because the word “teachings” seems remote to some. I don’t seem to be the sort of person whom that word fits; that is, I lack the formal background associated with teaching. Maybe more than that is my casual insistence on mentioning that I believe and understand that I;we, work for God. Truthfully, that seems to be the deal-breaker more often than not. The fact that it is a casual point with me seems to make it quite an audacious issue with others. Well, casual does not mean I lack respect for God or the job, it is merely the result of nearly 40 years worth of working on it since I first found out about it. That is also called experience, and I have *lots* of that. Learning the job in itself is a considerable challenge since there are no training manuals available. And, there are loads of people who also say they work for God, speak for God, etc., etc., so that serves to muddy the waters for me considerably. First of all, looking back at those religiously entrenched people who reject what we say, they often get their advice from all those “for God” claimants and take that advice as THE gospel. It would seem like a very odd place for me to jump into. It is. At times it feels like I am living naked in a sea of sharks, with only God to trust and guide me through. Been at it for nearly forty years, as I said, and still at it. That seems to say something…

Presently I am 74 years old. Of course I was a lot younger when I began my journey and I will be the first one to say I did not expect the training to take this long. And even this long is completely arbitrary since I have no better idea of how much further I have to go than I did when I began. I suppose that has been discouraging for the few that have tried to hold on to what we have been teaching them, even as now and then I have been a little discouraged myself. Waiting on God is not easy (I said that before)….

I didn’t come by my job on a lark. Fact is, I wasn’t looking for it and pretty much believed I wouldn’t have qualified anyway. Fact is one of my sisters even went so far as to tell me that I couldn’t work for God because I was her brother. Well, I held back from telling her that God didn’t hold that against me, but what she likely meant was that she knew enough of my life to where she figured I wouldn’t (or didn’t) meet the criteria for being a “holy man”. That’s ok, that was more or less what I already figured. What neither of us remembered is that God chooses whom God chooses and doesn’t seek approval from any of us. Of course that doesn’t keep people from interpreting that whatever way they want to and with that I don’t imagine even God would get a vote in their opinion.

Now I could launch into the whole story of how I got the job. But I just don’t think it is either useful at this point, or would serve any purpose beyond that. It is a pretty interesting story, but totally unprovable since I was the only one present at the time. So for now, I am just going to leave it alone and go on. It is important to remember that this is a writing; a blog, and as such it is something you can believe or not believe according to your inklings. What may surprise you is at the moment we are just telling you some things, not at all seeking to convert you, persuade you, gain a following, seeking money, favors or anything of the sort. We are just continuing with a process we started many years ago (about 1989) on our local BBS. How far we go with the story this time is really up to God, as it has always been.

So here we are, an old guy at this point, more or less talking the same talk that I have been doing for these many years. Why the old guy stuff matters is that we also believe that we are not going to die, old guy or not. But, we should also explain that I am presently sporting stage 4 kidney disease, about a thread away from dialysis. I have also had to have the rest of my teeth removed, have some sort of major stomach/intestinal problems, COPD and an assortment of other lesser health issues. This is why we say trust, belief and faith in God for real, when your life is on the line, isn’t as easy as some might think. While it does bother me that all this is going on, I still believe that *regeneration* is down there somewhere in my future, just as it is for countless numbers of other people. Sure I worry at times. I don’t think anything less is likely with anyone unless they have their heads totally in the clouds. It is just part of what is involved in learning this business of working for God to get prepared for what is coming next, what we have been calling a Better Way.

Next time we will tell you some of what a Better Way is. It is a very interesting subject…

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A Little Update Is In Order..

We first ventured into the blog world about five years ago. At the time we were using Blogspot, which worked fine for me as far as I can see. But progress caught up with me I guess. I was using Win XP at the time but have since moved on to Win 7 (due to crash, buy new computer, discover lots of XP programs abandoned by MS in the process, etc., etc.), and I found I could no longer use text writing program. SO… on to new program, restart blog and leave other on out in cyberspace somewhere. Now I know this sounds a little hapless to those who flourish in the computer world, but hapless or now, it started leaving me behind back about Win 98 and simply changes faster than I can (or care to) keep up. After all, I *think* I have a life! So for me the easiest way was to just start over again. This is the restart. Hope that works to explain it because I fully intend to go on from here. Join me if you want, comments are welcome -the sensible ones anyway- and we shall see where it all goes..

A final caution perhaps. I write what I think, what I believe, and tend to do it within my level of expertise. I neither write up, nor down. I don’t care for labels and when they are applied to me, I generally ignore them. Often I am just different, with no apologies for it. I am still learning, and more often than not it will show.

I am going to try out a few new headers now and then, until I find one that suits me. Hopefully, the Blog title will remain the same to keep the confusion to a minimum.

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Header pix

Just ran last post over to my Facebook page and noticed what a nice bunch of flowers I have on the header above. Gotta do something about that I think. Problem is, or will be, finding a suitable topic replacement. Too many variations to my thoughts. Have to think about it some I guess. In the meantime, posies will have to do..

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