Middle Age Ramblings

Where I Share My Thoughts On This Journey Called Life

VOTE!

I haven’t been blogging any this year. I realize that my audience has probably vanished. There is, however, something I need to say today.

VOTE

Many have said that we don’t have any choices in this election. That neither of the candidates are acceptable. I hear your objections clearly, but it is vital that we all exercise our right to vote.

There may come a day when that right is taken away. There may come a day when that right is greatly restricted compared to now. It’s simple. I may not agree with every one who reads this post, but I would fight if necessary to defend our right to say what is on our minds even if we don’t agree. So speak up! Go Vote!

 

The Sky Shouts!

When I was younger, I loved to fish. Some of my favorite times spent fishing were very early in the morning just as the sun was coming up over the horizon.

Most of those times, I was awestruck by the burst of color in the early morning sky. I may have missed catching a few fish, but I had the opportunity to see the awesomeness of God’s creation.

I think I understand a little of what the Psalmist was thinking when he wrote these words:

The heavens declare the glory of God,

and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.  Psalm 19:1

Life moves so fast that we often miss those times when God pulls back the curtain and allows us to see a glimpse of His glory. May we learn to slow down when possible and look for the hand of God in His creation!

Free College

President Obama announced yesterday a proposal to give free community college to anyone who is “willing to work for it”. The specifics of the program at this point are vague. It is proposed that students who keep up a 2.5 GPA and are making progress to complete their degrees in a 3 years or less could receive this help if the state the community college is in opts into the program.

This is because the Federal Government is going to pay 75% of the tuition and State governments would pick up 25%.

This program is modeled after a program began last year in the state of Tennessee. About 58,000 of the states roughly 62,000 high school seniors have applied for the program. It is my understanding that the Tennessee program is funded by Lottery monies.

There were no specifics given in the Presidents announcement about how this program would be funded. I would be interested in finding out how many billions of dollars this is going to cost the taxpayers, you and me.

I fear that this might be another unfunded mandate handed down by the Federal government for the state and local governments to bear the burden of.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have any problem  with assisting children from underprivileged families in order for them to get an education. A good education, if the individual applies what they have learned, is the best way for a person to change their lives and break the cycle of poverty.

However, just guaranteeing an education doesn’t guarantee a job in the field they get their degree in. There are people in this economy who are under employed. Meaning they are working in a field that is not what they studied, and are making less money  because there are no jobs available in their field.

I know young adults with degrees who are working jobs making $8-9 per hour because there were no jobs available in their chosen field. They should be making $22,000 to $25,000 per year at least based on estimates.

I fear this is another in a long list of education programs, both Democratic and Republican, design to “improve education”. However, government has been largely unsuccessful at improving education. That is why we have so many failing schools and failing students. While I don’t have any answers for this problem, I don’t think another bureaucratic program is the answer because most of the money will be spent on the bureaucracy created to run the program and very little of the money will actually get to where it is needed.

I have rambled on this a good bit and I appreciate you sticking around to read all of it. As I said I don’t have any good answers for our education problems, but I know that the government solutions have not worked before. Maybe this one will, but I doubt it

I am certain this program will create much discussion on both sides. Please share your opinion below about this new idea of the Presidents. I look forward to reading them.

I Have An Announcement

The phrase “I have an announcement” is often used in our culture when someone wants to announce an event that is about to happen. Everyone from major corporations to people with a social media account make announcements every day. Some of these announcements affect large groups of people. Many times, however, the announcements only affect a small group.

There was 1 announcement made a long time ago to the most unlikely group of people to receive such message. This announcement began a series of events that would forever change the world.

The announcement took place in  a very small town in a small country to a group of people who were the outcasts of society. Nobody wanted to have anything to do with them. The smelled different from everyone else, they didn’t dress like everyone else either.

You see, this announcement was made to a group of shepherds, outside if Bethlehem, in Israel. The announcement was so big that it was sent from God. He didn’t just send 1 angel to make the announcement. He had a whole sky full of angels making this announcement!

This announcement was amazing! There was a baby born in Bethlehem. Not just any baby though, this baby was the Son of God! God became human, lived a perfect life, and gave his life that we could be free from the penalty of sin, which is death! What an amazing announcement! What an amazing God!

The greatest announcement ever made was made to a group of outcast shepherds. the announcement was made to the entire world. Just like the shepherds, we need to spread the announcement to all we come in contact with.

Reaction To The Election: Better Late Than Never

I was looking at my blog the other day and realized I haven’t written anything in almost six months. Wow, talking about a long case of writers block! My problem is not always writers block, but instead lack of time to write.

So much for my whining, I thought today would be a good time to offer one or two quick comments about the election. I’ve spent the past week, just like you have, listening to all of the liberal and conservative pun-dents on TV and talk radio spin the results of the election. Some I agree with, some I do not.

Listen, this is actually pretty simple. Most people in this country are tired of sending people to Washington to do a job, who, opnce they get there, decide to do nothing, draw their pay, and then ask the voters for the job again.

It’s like this. You can fool me once. You might even get away with fooling me twice. It’s not often that somebody gets a third opportunity with me.

so the Republicans have two years to try to get something significant done in Washington. Will they be successful? I don’t know for sure, but probably not.

I do know this. If they don’t make improvements by the 2016 elections, the american voters will probably do it again. And I have a feeling that the voters will keep changing horses until they get some that will do the job they are sent to Washington to do.

I’m going to try to do better with this writing thing. I’m going to start with a goal of publishing something once a week toward the end of the week each week. Hopefully, some of you will come back from time to time for a read as I tell my side of the story.

As always, your comments are welcome below

He Is Risen!

Today is Easter Sunday. It is the day on which we Christians celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. As I think about the events of that weekend some 2000 years ago, I am reminded of the raw human emotion in this story.

Think about that first Easter for a moment. The disciples were hiding. They thought they would be next to be killed. They feared for their lives and at the same time, they grieved because their leader was no longer with them. Just sit for a moment and get a picture in your mind of the scene in that upper room. The same room where they had just celebrated the passover.

It is no wonder that morning when the women who had gone to the tomb came bursting into the room with the news that Jesus’ body was gone that they felt apprehension. I’m certain that was much confusion and doubt in their minds.

Than Mary came running in with the news that she had seen Jesus! All of the confusion, the fear, the grief all came to a fever pitch.

We tend to be too rough on the disciples and their doubt. I would imagine that we would feel the same way if placed in the same situation.

Soon, however, Jesus would appear to them and put all of their fears to rest right? Hardly the Bible tells us in Matthew 28:17 that a few days later, Jesus appeared to them in Galilee. They worshiped, but some doubted.

People still doubt today! They don’t believe that a dead man got up and walked! Yet the evidence is clear. His tomb is empty!

We must shout it from the housetops. HE IS RISEN! Throw a party, celebrate! He is Risen, and I believe HE is coming again very soon!

 

Rainy Mondays- A Good Day To Do Nothing

I think I’ve written about this subject before, but this is one of those days that I just can’t pass it up. It has rained all morning here in North Mississippi where I live and work. Just a lazy kind of day. There’s not much going on here at work either and that makes it even worse.

Actually, I’m usually pretty tired on Mondays. I attend a small church in my home town. As with most small churches, Sundays are extremely busy. I teach a class of adults ranging in age from close to 30 to my age, I’m 55.  Then during worship service I play bass in our praise team and sing. We use a variety of music in our church from the great hymns of the past, to some of the new worship music of the present.

After church there is lunch at my mom’s house, I’ve written about that before in a post titled “Sunday Dinner”. I do usually get a short power nap in before going back to church for praise team practice, and Sunday night services.

After church on Sunday night, our 2 daughters, their husbands and children all come to our house for Sunday night supper. Our 3 grandsons, ages 4, 2 1/2, & 6 weeks are something else. It usually turns into a 3 ring circus before we are through. My wife and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

By 10 PM, I am ready to fall into bed. Monday mornings, come way too soon for me. Today is no exception. I am just having trouble getting motivated to do anything. I’ve got a project to complete this afternoon so I guess I’ll put a stop to my complaining and get on with it.

Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy serving in my church. Sundays are such a blessing from God. But it makes for a long Monday.

 

A Son Shall Be Born

http://bible.com/72/LUK1.30.HCSB Then the angel told her: Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Now listen: You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will call His name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end. Mary asked the angel, “How can this be, since I have not been intimate with a man? ” The angel replied to her: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy One to be born will be called the Son of God. And consider your relative Elizabeth — even she has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called childless. For nothing will be impossible with God.” “I am the Lord’s slave,” said Mary. “May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel left her.
Bible.com/app

Hiding Behind A Mask

Halloween Costumes 1980

Today is Halloween. This is the time of the year that children and some adults think about dressing up in all kinds of costumes, going out door to door and getting candy. Most of the costumes for children have some type of mask with them. Thus making it easier to pretend to be someone else for a short time.

I wonder how many Christians are hiding behind masks all the time? Hiding who we really are to act like what we believe a Christian is supposed to act.

We live in a culture today where 2 families can come to the same church every Sunday, sit in the same pew with each other every week, and yet not have a clue about the struggles and problems the other family is going through.

We think that because we are Christians we are supposed to have it all together. We are not supposed to have any problems. Guess what? That’s the wrong answer!

Listen! We still live in this sin cursed world! We are not home yet! To borrow a line from Steve Brown, we are beggars telling other beggars where we found bread. While we are here, we need to reach out to one another and lean on one another.

We need to take off our mask and admit to the world that we are lonely and needy. That we sometimes say things we shouldn’t and even do things we shouldn’t.

Who knows? Revival might just break out in the church! And our Father would be pleased.

Monday Mornings

I don’t know why, but Mondays are rough. I’m usually still tired  from Sunday even though I get a good nights sleep.

Sunday is one of my busiest days of the week. Between serving on the Worship Team at church, teaching a class, and chasing grandkids in the afternoon. It makes for along day. Especially if you tack on a couple of meeting s during the day on
Sunday.

However, it how I choose to spend my day. I love music especially God’s music. It’s a joy to serve in my church even if it means having meeting to attend. And I love spending time with my grandsons!

When Monday rolls around, it usually takes me until middle of the morning to get going. I just feel like I’m walking in quicksand. After I get through that, however, I make it pretty good through the day.

I just have to get through Mondays!

Join the conversation! Share your Monday morning stories in the comments!

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