Castro, Red Sea, Radar,

Yes, this probably is a weird blog, but those things aren’t jammed together in one topic. Often my mind cross references things, this week it started with the death of Fidel Castro. I thought of the decades he ruled Cuba, then I thought about the Children of Israel wandering in the desert 40 years after crossing the Red Sea. I also thought about something I was once told regarding art trends: they swing from one extreme to another, like a pendulum.

Going from Art Nouveau to Art Deco is a good example. I’m assuming the Children of Israel had plenty of time to ‘get over’ being in the desert? Now the people of Cuba are probably over communism? I think at one time they had a flourishing capitalist society, did corruption made the people tire of it? I need to research that more, but it seems to fit a pattern. What about immorality? Will people see how empty it is? The sad thing is that most people don’t know where we went wrong, such is life in the lie that there is no God.PENDULUMHere’s a link to a free vector file of the above image:

Pendulum Ball vector file

As I said at another blog, I’ve found a church in Knoxville that I like. It’s called Christ Church Knoxville, on Alcoa Highway. The new testament talks about equipping people to minister, and it looks like they do that at this church. The pastor, Nathan, travels to different places to minister; while he’s gone, men from the congregation give sermons. This past week it was Andy. He spoke about Philippians chapter 2, verses 3 to 12.

Verses 3 and 4 say this:

” Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”

The passage also talks about Christ humbling Himself and becoming a servant; Andy carefully covered that as well. What’s interesting is that I was thinking about this myself prior to the service. I get so busy with my own activities and thoughts that I’m often nearly oblivious to other people in the room with me. I realized that I need an awareness, a radar of sorts, to be careful how my words and actions affect others.

A link to the Church website: Christ Church Knoxville

I know that when I need to pick a few things up at the store, visualizing them as pictures in my mind helps me remember them better. So it is, I often make a graphic for these things I contemplate. Here’s one for this:radarThe radar image is available as a free vector file here:

On My Radar Screen vector file

Musings, fires, and pictures

I’ve heard people say that we don’t need the ten commandments these days; that we walk in the Spirit. I know that I should be better at hearing what the Holy Spirit says or leads me to, so there are days when I lean on the law. You know those days, feeling ill the night before, couldn’t get enough sleep, next day is busy, some of it bad events. At times like that, it can be difficult to make decisions, especially if emotions are running strong. Those are the times when the law serves as a safety barrier. Do the Christians who fall into unrepentant sin not stop there, or not have this barrier?Law_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Considering how much the current progressive administration dislikes conservatives, would it be unrealistic to think they’ve assigned security agents to monitor and investigate conservatives, as though they were terrorists? When we have bombings and shootings by the Jihad guys, how many of those instances could have been prevented were the agents reassigned?

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In the last post I talked about the drunkard who loses the priority to dress well. I might have an analogy:

When you paint a car, the goal of course is to have results that look like a colored mirror. In other words, as smooth and shiny as a piece of glass. Every step is very specific, and most of them involve pricey materials. The paint can be $200 easily. The masking tape is $5 a roll. The reducer (thinner) can be $20 a gallon. The sandpaper is costly too.

But there’s one step that’s disproportionately inexpensive. That’s the tack cloth. It costs about $1, but all the other steps and expenses are absolutely worthless without it. That’s no exaggeration. I talked with one body/paint guy who said that research shows dust particles stand on end when they’re on a surface that’s about to be painted. All I know is that your paint job will look like you added a mild amount of sand to the paint. Not as densely packed as sandpaper, but who cares? One little bump per 2 square inches is a ruined paint job. I work with a lot of different tools and materials, but this is the most disproportionate that I know.

So, compared to work, maintaining the car and house, keeping abreast of current events; and all the stuff one does, neatness of appearance can lose priority. Compared to overall well being though, is it disproportionate in a similar way? It seems like a small thing…

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We’ve had a lot of forest fires here in Appalachia the last week. It destroys trees, but makes for interesting sunsets and moon risings. Most of these pictures were taken on separate days. The first two are of the Moon.Moon1moon2smokeSun1smokeSun2smokeSun3

You can see and smell the smoke from the fires everywhere. But wait, inside the house too? Oh I get it, that’s not a new thing; it’s smoke rolling thickly out from under the kitchen cabinets. The guilty party is -not- my wife, but I’ll let said party remain anonymous…this time.CarbonK

Discretion advised…surrender…random

First this: Somewhere over the years, I read that movies are a form of escape for a lot of people. It wasn’t that way for me, not until the other night anyway. Maybe if you’re comfortable with your life, it’s different. We watched a movie about a trio of treasure hunters that find some lost treasure dating back to Colonial times. As soon as the movie was over, I snapped back to the realization that I’m immersed in my own life, and that it’s stranger than a movie.

Part of what’s strange is that there are different topics, which maybe could be viewed as layers. They have breadth and width, each one grows or changes, sometimes independent of the others.

So, man what a week. As the election polls were saying the results of different states, I was dismayed that so many people could vote for the suicidal darkness that was the Hillary campaign. My thought was that Donald Trump should have more voters, but that he would need a large margin to overcome the varied fraud schemes of the opposition. So I was somewhat in disbelief to see him actually win.

For me though, it’s more than just a victory that slows down the dark agenda. In the 1982 edition of the American Heritage Dictionary, part of the definition of paranoia is “…delusions of persecution or grandeur, strenuously defended by the afflicted with apparent logic and reason.” As of late, I’ve been engaged in some political activism, and I’ve wondered if it’s a threat to my life. With some analysis, I think I can keep myself from being at the center of that definition.

If the parameters are anyone who has said something negative about Hillary the odds are something like 10 million to one. But if you have different methods than the others, does that change the odds? They certainly don’t send out a notice saying “Next week Bud, your it!” Anyway, I know I talked about that several posts ago, but now, I’m wondering if I need to go through a mental decompression of sorts.

That, and I don’t have to be ready to leave the country NOW. I should be glad about the results, but somehow, I’m in quiet disbelief. I also can’t understand the liberals talking about leaving the country. Seriously? Who persecutes Christians ($139,000 fine) for not baking a cake? I wish the liberals had something to fear, but I don’t think they do. I know, how about we send all the blue voters to California, and encourage them to secede? Too radical for today’s world, but I seriously would like to see it happen.

I can’t talk about everything I’ve been dealing with, but I certainly “live in interesting times”. It’s so very paradoxical how good can come from bad; sometimes it’s epic. See how Christ died to redeem a sinner like me. I don’t know what the psychologists recommend, but I’ve learned to put things in ‘folders’. Some things in my life are so cool they’re off the charts; others are the opposite. If everything were together, it would all be a drab slurry.

I’ve dealt with the bad stuff as much as I can at this time, now they’re in a holding pattern, to see what will happen when. But the good stuff, man, that’s the problem with writing; I can tell you facts, but I can’t always send a serving of joy. Living in the juxtaposition can be edgy. I stop and take pictures more, I stopped and confronted a guy the other day.

As I was turning around to go back, I was praying and thinking of the right thing to say. I wanted to ask questions first, rather than confront the guy. I wanted to see if there was a nihilistic intent, then see if a better way of expressing it could be found. Here’s what I saw:screw_itI found out who’s car it was, and gently asked if it was an expression of disgust at the status quo of bad economic policies and little ability for the average person to change things. He either hasn’t contemplated the thing in depth, or the work involved in contemplation is part of why he’s saying to hell with it all. He was walking in a circle saying it’s just something all his friends do (ad populum fallacy). The he said “It is what it is” meaning, I suppose, that it’s not open to discussion. He started walking away, and I changed my tone. I said “There’s a better way of saying it.” He was entering the building he came out of, by this time I was nearly shouting to be heard over the traffic sounds a few yards away:”It’s the degradation of society!”

That evening, I was thinking about it. If I had longer to talk to the guy, I would say that as long as he has the ability to make such a loud proclamation, he should express something specific about the problems or solutions. His approach is just surrender. Christianity 101 says when you point a finger, three are pointing back. Specifically, Jesus said before you criticize the splinter in someone’s eye, behold the beam in your own eye.

So where do I surrender? Maybe in places I don’t realize. I’m forever amazed by people who won’t see a binary situation. It’s like “Look folks, there are only TWO OPTIONS here. Dreaming of a different outcome won’t make it happen.” My problem has been that I’m binary when I shouldn’t be. My work makes trying to have a tight schedule very stressful; so I completely abandoned it, and had no schedule. That’s lame, much of the time I can have one. The same with neat clean clothes. In the course of one day I can go from being covered with rust powder, then soot, then paint or used motor oil. But that’s not everyday, or all day.

Are those examples of surrender? It seems like it. Sure, in a pragmatic way, it could be argued that there’s efficiency in my methods. But it doesn’t work out overall. I’ve been contemplating why a drug user or drunkard has a hard time coming back to neatness, even after sobriety and recovery. It’s probably a separate topic, unless the means of degradation is a change in the priorities in the person’s equations. For example, he wakes up with a raging hangover, and at that moment, he must focus only on getting water, aspirin, whatever he needs to feel better. Dressing nicely gets devalued in this equation. Once the new, lower valuation is accepted for the crisis, it becomes the norm.

Anyway, back to the last post about sensitivity to my surroundings, I’ve got pictures. I hope the pictures convey what i saw and felt. The first picture is a small moth with daylight coming through its wings.mothNext is a thing that often happens to stop signs around here; they grow a vine hat.sign_hat

Here are some very small bubbles on a board. The biggest group is about the size of a dime.TinyBubblesI had such a nice time working on the interior of the RR coach, while it was parked along the river. Here’s a picture of the sky one afternoon. Interesting contrails.trails