John McCain’s legacy

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Did you watch any of the service from our National Cathedral for Senator John McCain? Did you shed a tear, pray with the clergy, become misty-eyed with the singing of “Danny Boy,” smile with the numerous anecdotes from the speaking dignitaries? Did you share with your fellow Americans remembrances of a better time, a more civil time when opposing political positions honored each other’s differences while pursuing their vision of greatness? Did it move you?

That which we witnessed from the National Cathedral at John McCain’s funeral service truly showcased the greatness of a country which at one time was able to compromise in a varied political spectrum where agendas and opinions were vastly different yet solutions were achieved. In today’s gathering darkness, that which made America great has been sacrificed for the privilege and profit of a few of the financial elite and politically powerful.

Did you listen to the eulogies from Presidents Obama and Bush? We heard two great statesmen who loved their country, yet served under differing political philosophies. Each brought a tear to my eye remembering a time not long ago when I was proud of our leadership even if I did not embrace their brand of governing. Each in his own way brought honor, discipline, and integrity to a very difficult assignment – the Presidency.

For a few hours on Saturday, from Washington, D.C., America was made great again, given a reprieve from that which has transpired since November of 2016. We don’t need red caps or hateful rallies to declare our greatness to the world or to bolster what we are as a people. We saw today whom we can once again be if we draw upon the decency and integrity of true patriots, those who know how to serve unselfishly with honor, truthfulness, and respect.

Democrats and Republicans alike have a huge reserve of talented and dedicated men and women who love this country just as much as you and I. They respect the valor and courage of our national heroes who have faithfully served. These patriots and potential great statesmen may have been silent when silence was least needed, but they are waiting in the wings to take up the battle where John McCain left off. We need nothing less than national heroes to guide us through this national darkness. Vote in November as if our democracy depends on it because possibly it does.

maturity with respect

Just another traveler on life’s highway hanging out in the slow lane.  It’s quiet.  It’s peaceful.  Beyond the horizon is rest beckoning me.  Green pastures, still waters, my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and mercy will follow me.

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Sometimes sobriety comes in small doses.  That infinite wisdom called experience knows when we are ready for an increased fix of maturity – a commodity sorely lacking in our addictions.  What’s that you say?  You always were mature?  Maybe we can talk about that in another post.

I have only myself as a barometer for comparison.  I am not who I used to be, I am not who I’d like to be, but, thank God I have a sober mind to guide me on the ‘clean and serene’ path.  That includes the maturity index.  When I think I’ve got it down pat, I do something absolutely stupid and inane.  A mini inventory and a sincere apology to those offended cleans my slate and puts me again on that clean and serene path. I know that this will be a continuing lifetime process.  Act stupid, apologize, regroup.  Act stupid, apologize, regroup.

As I travel this road, I become more acutely aware of the immaturity displayed by those in my life, sometimes family and friends, but more often celebrities and national leaders.  We have all heard in our recovery circles the words, “Too bad he doesn’t have our program.”

Indeed, too bad they don’t have our program.  Too bad they haven’t embraced growth and maturity.  No, don’t call it a judgmental thing; rather, it is seeing life through a different set of lenses.  Judging is a matter between that person and his/her God.  However, I do compare.  Would I be comfortable speaking as he does?  Would I be able to conduct myself as she does?  If not, is there something wrong with me?

And all I have upon which to rely is me and my path.  My path has brought a severely broken man to a mildly challenged man.  It has, again and again, reminded me that there is something much greater than that universe which spins between my ears.  A world of other humans, just like me, aspires just like me, and hurts just like me.  They endure the hardships of their lives and search for answers.  They experience joy and heartbreak – just like me.  The greatest bit of wisdom which I’ve realized is that I am not the center of existence.  My life is but a grain of sand in the desert, a drop of water in the ocean.  But, when co-existing peaceably and maturely with other grains and other drops, I become we and we become massive forces in this life’s experience.

I find myself, in today’s political atmosphere, questioning motives and behaviors of the nation’s leaders.  I sometimes can’t agree or disagree because my barometer doesn’t gauge some of the stupidity and ignorance which I see.  What’s wrong with them?  Why are they behaving like children?  Where is the respect and maturity which most of us have learned to embrace in our everyday lives?  How can a national leader show such crass disrespect for a war-time hero?  How can men and women of national prominence be so self-involved?

I guess they are not part of the same deserts and oceans which you and I are building.  Maybe they need a program like the one we have.  Maturity with respect heals the greatest of differences, creates a bridge to enlightenment.  I can only pray for their healing, be a voice for change, and then vote my conscience in November.

How about you?

 

Fr. Richard Rohr

NAMASTE

If you have read none of my previous posts nor read any of my writing hereafter, please take 2 minutes of your time to read this from Fr. Rohr at cac.org which, in my opinion, nails the world-wide crisis of social injustice occurring in these extremely difficult times.

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be careful little eyes

CANDLEA friend invited me to sit with him to watch one of the popular offerings on prime time television.  My viewing over the years has diminished to baseball, news, and college football.  Sometimes an old movie will grab my attention and I will settle down to watch and reminisce.  But, today’s 1258 channels on cable don’t get me too excited.

The show we watched was not alarmingly violent, had little sexual content, kept cussing to that which 8 year-olds now use at school.  But, it was bizarre in the images presented and the script.  Actually, bizarre is not strong enough.  It was chilling, ominous, and dark.  It creeped me out.  The computer generated visual effects were graphically disturbing, not something I wanted to put into my memory banks and certainly not something I would want a 10 year-old to process in his/her developing psyche.

“Trash in, trash out”.  We seem to have lost as a supposedly advanced society the wisdom that what we ingest mentally is who we become as a person.  Those images and that music which I allow into my brain will affect who I become as a person.  I can fill that space in my head with soul-nurturing entertainment or gut-wrenching graphics.  I can honor the presence of Jesus within or I can dump trash on his salvific glory. It’s a choice I have to make every minute of every day.  And, being the broken piece of humanity which I am, I sometimes fall short.  There are times when the best I can accomplish is damage control.

Our entertainment industry has replaced a God of joy and peaceful coexistence with its god of sex, immorality, and violence.  We should not wonder why mass shootings are becoming commonplace in America.  The children are learning from the movies, music, media, and politicians that the best solution to a problem involves a gun and standing up for “rights”.  Even some of our churches are preaching a theology of exclusion.  “You are not like me, you do not think like me, you do not look like me; therefore, you need to be eliminated.”  The less violent of these misguided religionists are content with the thought that the elimination will be an eternity in hell for those who do not fit their narrow viewpoint.  But, increasingly in America we see an active pursuit of legislating hatred in the name of God.

I am a child of God, I need to be careful what I see, hear, say, think, and feel.

 

 

NEWS FROM GABBYGRAYWHISKERS: football

RAH RAH RAH, SISH BOOM BAH, KICK THEIR BUTTS, MAKE ‘EM SQUEAL, GIVE ‘EM HELL, YEAAAAAA TEAM!!!!!!

 

smiley 3Now, tell me folks, don’t y’all think Gabby would have been a great cheerleader?  I mean, the raw talent just oozes out of every rah, rah, don’t it?  I was doing just fine in tryouts until I ended a cheer with “KISS MY ASS”.   They simply had no sense of humor, whaddyathink?

Well, now we know the good Lord had bigger things in mind when he led me down the cheerleading path.  I’m today a cheerleader for the Big Guy in the sky.  YessirreeBob.  Y’all call him/her whatever you want and cross your theological T and dot your religious I.  In my heart I know that the head honcho coach is the greatest power there is.  Ain’t no bigger game on earth than the one that teaches unity, sportsmanship, hard work, and brotherly love.  Ain’t no god contrived by man that scores more points on the playing field called life.  It’s an inside thing folks.  We grab the spirit that’s been put inside us and we run with it.  We make a difference in the lives of other people.  We act like ladies and gentlemen even when the opposing team is kicking our butts.  NosirreeBob, we never give up the ball to intolerance, bigotry, hatred, and racism.

Yeah, I agree that’s enough analogy for one post.  Hell, what do y’all expect for free?  A five-page sermonette?  But, this past weekend with the hoopla over professional football players standing or kneeling for the national anthem is just another indication that your POTUS is deranged.  He’s got Russia hacking our elections, Iran testing missiles, healthcare failure looming, young professionals facing deportation, a war in Syria, a war in Afghanistan, an opioid war, and Kim in North Korea threatening to blow us all to smithereens…..and your POTUS is attacking the NFL for being disrespectful.  C’mon man, even Gabby with his 1960s style ‘give-a-shit’ attitude and the morals of an alley cat has more sense than that.  Where’s Trump’s priorities?

Say what you like about my cheerleading abilities, but y’all know I’m right as a greased pig in the pit with this little exhortation (Larry said that was an appropriate word to use). What my Grandpappy always told me was to be aware of the smoke screens that politicians throw out.  They’s just covering the really important bullshit going on behind the scenes.  Get out your knee-highs, we’re gonna need ’em.

 

EEEEEEEEEHAW               smiley-face-2