Identity Changed to Protect the Innocent

Recently, we experienced a rare and beautiful eclipse of the sun.  We were warned, repeatedly, about looking directly at the eclipse. Some, actually many, bought glasses made for this rare occurrence.  I’d like to inject at this point, I only wish I’d had some glasses to sale.  I wouldn’t have to work for the next year.  But, that’s beside the point and I will leave to your own cursory.

With each and every advisory that came across the television screen my family, neighbors, in-laws, outlaws and those around my fair city, took heed to the warning.  Especially, my dear, dear friend who shall, for all intent and purposes, remain forever nameless.

Yesterday, she came to me with a tenebrous sprit.  One look at her and I knew she had something on her mind that was about to be dropped on me.  I backed  up and to my dismay,  I discovered there was absolutely no way to escape whatever it was she had to say, so I sat down and invited her to do the same.

Her foreboding and gloomy spirit continued through the pouring of a dark and aromatic cup of coffee and finally she set her burden free.

“I think I looked at the eclipse too long and have damaged my eyes.”  She said with a contrite expression on her face.

“Oh, and what symptoms are you having that make you think that?”  I inquired.

“I haven’t seen well since that day.  Everything is blurry, unclear, out of focus.”  She replied.

“Have you experienced any black spots that seem to float across your eyes or anything like that?”  I inquired.

“No.”  She replied.

“OK, well do you have problems seeing up close or far away?”  I continued to inquire in a doctor like manner. “

“Mostly, up close.  I can see pretty well, far off. Yeah, definitely up close is where the problem is.”  She answered.

“Have you been to an eye doctor yet?” I asked.

“No, I’m just so nervous and afraid to go.”  She replied.

Knowing that my dear, dear friend had a slight degree of hypochondria, I handed her my reading glasses and said, “Here you go, put these on and see if they help.”

She took them from my hand and plopped them on her face while declaring, “I’ve never had to wear eye glasses before.  Not ever.  Oh my God, do you think I’ve damaged my eyes so badly that I will now have to have glasses?”  She shrieked.

“No, I just think you’ve had enough birthdays now that you’ve joined the rest of us.  Age does that to you.  It just slips up and blind sides you and wa-la, one day you’re just getting older.  Welcome to my world.”  I smiled.

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Sick of Rated R

I do not know how many of you have fallen victim to the Rated R emails that come through on your junk email.

To my knowledge, I’ve never ordered any Rated R stuff, indulged in any on line Rated R sex games, requested any information from any Rated R website or asked for any dates with Rated R Women. At times, I wonder if it’s because my name is Jimmy and they assume I am a man.

I constantly get offers for free testosterone, which I do not need or want and ads from ‘did you see my naked pictures?’, as well. As I previously stated, I did not order nor do I want any of this Rated R information.

I have even received Halloween costumes for  ‘a pretty little miss,’  that I certainly did not order, nor did I want. I’ll leave what that looked like up to your imagination.

In fact, I had a horrible thought. What if my grandchildren got on my computer and saw all this propaganda?  What if they thought I partook of this forbidden fruit?  Dear Lord, it gives me heart palpitations just to think about it.

Then, I had another terrible, terrible thought.  The worst possible thing, what if I died and my children found all that stuff in my deleted box and thought I had been a part of any such thing?  Oh, Lord, I’d be prayed right into hell and be as innocent as a morning dove.

I’ve done all the normal things you can do such as requesting all email from those addresses be immediately stopped, all to no avail.  Now, I get letters saying, “Jimmy, do you want a date tonight?”  The answer is a resounding ‘NO!’, I do not want a date and if I did, I could manage that all on my own.  I mean, I get in enough trouble by just breathing…I don’t need any help from outside sources.

Now, I must say in all honesty, I am not a Polly Anna but I’m not a Candy Bar either.  For those who don’t know or remember,  Candy Bar, was a stripper in the 60’s in Dallas, Texas. I know immediately you wonder how I know about such things. I was told by a very good source.  That’s it, nothing more.

Now, to continue on my tirade about Rated R topics on the junk email of my computer.  My brother, years ago, gave me the nickname of Stella Dallas.  For those of you too young to remember, Stella Dallas was a radio show character.  She had more encounters with unwanted, worldly things then you can imagine, thus my nick name.

I know it seems as if our world has gone to hell in a hand basket, but  I do think that basically most folks are good at heart.  Based on that, if any of you know how to block, erase, do not send or how to otherwise get across, do not communicate with me about these Rated R, things I would appreciate your help.

I have to admit, I am severely technically challenged when it comes to the computer, so I am therefore subjected to more information than I care to know about.

What’s in a Heart?

Last week, we had a terrible storm in our neighborhood.  Trees were downed, shingles blown off, electricity out… many, many terrible things happened.  I was one of the fortunate ones.  My neighbor’s tree broke and fell on my roof, but only caused my gutters to have to be replaced and some shingles.  This was on the side of my house.

My back yard, however, was another story.  I had this beautiful tree whose branches offered cool shade in the summer and its shape was almost perfect.  I valued this tree. After the storm had passed and I raised my garage door, I was greeted by limbs everywhere. Much to my despair, I could not get my car out of the garage.  

Upon further investigation, I saw one huge limb had split off from the main tree trunk.  It was at least fifteen inches in diameter, a huge beautiful limb.  As I stepped out onto the rain soaked driveway to examine the tree’s fate further, I saw where this apparently strong limb had splintered away from the main body of the tree, because it had a rotten core.  There was this huge rotten defect which of course accounted for the splintering of this otherwise strong beautiful tree.

When the storm came, the internally weak limb could not hold on.  The blemish concealed within the tree caused this otherwise stunning limb, to be weak, rendering it unable to stand up to the storm and thus be cast to the ground to be sawed up into small pieces and hauled away.  It left a terrible gash in this otherwise, lovely tree, diminishing the tree’s beauty and hindering the effect of the shade it once offered.

This caused me to wonder about how many people look so beautiful on the outside, but when the storms of life come, they cannot stand up to the forces hurled against them because they have a rotten heart. So, they are cast to the ground and lose their way because they do not know Christ.

To all outsiders, they appear to be strong and beautiful. Their outward appearances seem to be perfect. They talk a good talk, but, if we could see their hearts then we would see them for what they truly are.  We would see their beauty fade and we could see their weakness.

There is no doubt my tree could have survived this strong summer storm had it had an unblemished core to which it could anchor itself. That caused me to reflect upon my own heart. Where is my anchor?  To what do I cling to make me strong?  Do I have a rotten core so when the storms of life come against me I will break and fall?

I pray God finds me worthy with a strong center in Christ.  When the storms of life assault me I pray I bend, but not break because my heart is strong and solidly anchored to my Lord.

Isn’t it awesome how God sends us messages in the most philosophical way if we will just pause to listen?

My prayer, “Lord, let me anchor my soul in You so when the storms of life come against me I will bend but not break.   Please let me always have a God listening heart.”

Take the Bull by the Horns

We all have heard and possibly at some point said, ‘just take the bull by the horns,’  meaning get on with it, quit squabbling and making excuses, quit feeling sorry for yourself. Get hold of your emotions; just ‘take the bull by the horns’ and deal with it.

Well, early Sunday  morning this past week I was faced head on with a ‘take the bull by the horns,’ incident. I literally had to decide what should I do when three of our registered Charolaise bulls each weighing over  a thousand pounds, decided they needed to see what was in my backyard.

Now, these bulls normally live in a very abundant pasture that joins my house and yard.  Up until now they had never offered to roam on my territory. But this morning, I guess they were bored and wanted to see if indeed the ‘grass was greener’ on the other side of the fence.

Normally, this would not have been a big issue; I would simply call my son and say, “John, the bulls are out.”  But, this particular morning, he wasn’t answering and they were tromping over my shrubs, my statues in the garden, my down spouts and of course fertilizing my yard as they went along. They paused to scratch themselves on the bird house and it quickly gave way to their pushing.  Thank God they didn’t decide to go inside the Gazebo, which they could have easily done.

So, here I was early morning, going outside in my gown, carrying my Marilyn Monroe walking stick, which is pink with a rhinestone inlay, while saying, ‘what are you boys doing in my yard?’ They raised their heads and looked at me like ‘what is that?’

I raised three boys and I can tell you my dad’s saying that young livestock are just like a bunch of boys, is true. They can tear up more in thirty minutes, than you can pay for in a month.

First, I got a dog food sack and shook it, hoping they would think it was range cubes and follow me out the gate and back into their pasture.  They didn’t. Instead, they just looked at me like I was a crazy woman, while thinking, ‘who do you think you’re kidding, we know that’s dog food.’

Finally, this one bull walked right up to me as if to say, ‘ok, lady, what is it you want us to do?’  Now I can tell you cattle have personalities, and they are smart. I know that because I’ve been chasing cows since I was eight years old.  


So, I simply said to him, pointing as I spoke, “Do you see that gate I’ve opened?  That’s for you to go out and get back in your pasture where you belong.  You very well know I can’t chase after you and you better do what I say.”

He gave me a ‘don’t be ridiculous look,’ turned and looked at his buddies behind him and walked through the open gate.  Of course the others followed and soon they had jumped back into their pasture.  They all turned and looked at me when I said, “Thanks,” as if to say, ‘yeah, yeah.’

I’m quite sure that all those driving past my place Sunday morning had a good laugh as they saw this wild woman, still in her gown, chasing three very large bulls out of her yard with the sunlight catching the rhinestones on the pink walking cane giving off a sparkling charade of rainbow colors.  

By the way, these bulls were natural ‘polls,’  so they had no horns by which I could have taken hold and dealt with the problem.  Thank God.

How Much is…

Is there a limit on how much is enough?  How much money, how many blessings, how much food, how many friendships, how many hobbies, how many vacations, how much truth, how much kindness, how big a house, how many cars, how much time?

As humans, we tend to gage things, by the dollar. As a dear friend of mine said one time said, “Money is the way you keep score.”  

But, is it really?

We tend to forget that the devil pays good wages also.

So, what we may look at as one person being blessed by God could be the devil paying their wages.  Just remember the devil charges more interest than you can ever repay. 

Now many aren’t going to agree with me about that and that’s okay.

This is about thinking about things in our life and looking at them perhaps from a different angle.

We can look, as an example, at a beautiful plate of food.  The plate is overflowing and more than adequate to supply our body’s need for food, and we think, “Geez, I really don’t like that, nor that and that’s gross and that—“  And on, and on, because it doesn’t come up to what WE like.  But, to a homeless, starving man, would settle for just the slice of bread. Or maybe just a cool drink of CLEAN water.

The saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” could certainly hold true here. What one sees as a blessing the other may see as “I earned that. I deserve that.”

In reality, God owes us nothing. He created us because He loves us and wanted our company, but, He owes us nothing. Yet, He continues to bless us over and over again, just as our earthly fathers bless us time and time again.

Maybe we should learn to think, or thank, before we complain.  You never know when you may just make the Chef angry and the plate full of wonderful food will no longer exist.

“The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

How much is enough for you?

Does God Ever Get Lonely

The bible tells us at one point, God got lonely and he wanted a friend.  He created the Garden of Eden and placed Adam and Eve there.  In the evening, God would walk in the garden and talk with his friends.  He loved having someone to share his time with, in such a beautiful place.  In my mind’s eye I can see the three of them sitting on a park bench laughing and talking.  

God saying, “Hey Adam did you see that new star I created last night?  Wasn’t that spectacular? Think I’ll let its brightness be significant of something really important someday.”

Adam answers saying, “Yeah, I did see it.  Man that’s amazing.  It’s the brightest star in the sky. Did you see it Eve?”

Eve smiles and says, “Yes, it’s beautiful.”

Then Adam says, “I saw all those angels hovering around you yesterday, what happened?”

A tear rolls down God’s cheek and he says, “Lucifer, the most beautiful angel I created, betrayed me.  It broke my heart when I had to kick him out of heaven.”

Adam answers, “You got to be kidding me? I know you have all those other angels, but, to have even one betray you? That’s got to be devastating, not to mention back stabbing—–I want you to know, Eve and I are your friends we would never do that to you.  Isn’t that right Eve?”

Eve nods her head in agreement and says, “Never.”

****

But, let’s get back on the subject of “Does God ever get lonely?” It’s hard for me to imagine that the Creator of the Universe would have such a problem.  After all, he is the maker of all things including emotions, feelings, etc. But, wait—maybe there’s our answer.  He is the maker of all things.  He created us in His image and therefore if we get lonely maybe God does too.

What’s that saying, “I felt alone in a crowded room.”  Something like that.

It’s for sure in today’s time God has more than enough stuff going on in this world He created.  He’s been betrayed, spit on and denied by us, His creation. The ones He has blessed so much turn their backs on Him and declare their independence, their lack of needing Him.  How very sad, so the answer to the topic, “Does God ever get lonely?”

This lowly wordsmith’s opinion is…

“Yes, I believe he does.”

What is Loyalty?

Down through the ages, loyalty has been earmarked as God first, family second, and country third; meaning your loyalty to God, your loyalty to family and your loyalty to your country.

Webster says, as a noun, it means the quality of being loyal to someone, or something, i.e., a strong feeling of support or allegiance.  

Fights with in-laws or family cause divided loyalties.

Synonyms of loyalty are: allegiance, faithfulness, obedience, adherence, homage, devotion, steadfastness, staunchness, true heartedness, dependability, reliability, trustworthiness, duty, commitment, patriotism, and fealty.

There are many quotes about loyalty. “Blood makes you related, loyalty makes you family,”  is one.  Followed by, “I am more concerned about who you are behind my back than who you are to my face.  Your loyalty should not depend on my presence.

Loyalty should always be considerate of the other person’s feelings.  Would you be offended if the other person did exactly the same thing to you?  

Loyalty:  A deep and beautiful word.  How deep does your love of God, family and country run? Are you ready and willing to defend your love and friendship with your accountability?

Many found fault with Trump’s address to the Boy Scouts of America and his saying loyalty was growing faint in our country.  It no longer holds the priority it once did in our lives.  He spoke the truth.  Friendships have faded, love of God has faded, love of country has been spit on and it all goes back to that basic need for loyalty from ourselves, to those we find important, whether it’s God or family or country.

So why has loyalty faded?

I don’t know. I’m not qualified to judge, I’ll leave that to God. But I will tell you this, once loyalty is kicked aside, all the other synonyms it pertains to are in danger of dying. I’d rather be old fashioned in my beliefs and loyal to the ones I love, than to be found short in the loyalty department.

It’s elementary to me, simple enough to define, simple enough to practice.  Some use the excuse, I didn’t think.  That makes a lot of sense.  Some never think before their actions.  Maybe that’s why loyalty has faded, the lack of thinking. After all, thinking requires you to use your brain and it’s just too simple now days to just toss all values out the window and let it be all about our wants, our needs and the hell with everyone and everything else.  I did it all by myself.  I am so important.

May God have mercy on us all. I am so ready for morals to once again reign throughout our land, throughout our families and throughout our churches.  I’m so ready for accountability to return regardless of sex, or age or nationality.  I’m so ready for loyalty to return and be understood and practiced. Perhaps it never will, but I chose to remain forever the optimist with loyalty to my God, my family and my country.

If that’s wrong, then so be it.  I am willing to stand accountable before God for that.  

Are you?


If you enjoyed today’s blog, and would like to read more of my writings, including the Geovanni Legends series and the Ivan Bennett of Scotland Yard series, please visit http://jrmartinauthor.com/