.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;} ~ elderflower ~ : April 2004 <$BlogRSDURL$>

~ elderflower ~

One Late Bloomer Point of View - Un Bricolage

Friday, April 30, 2004

Of Fools, Masters & Slaves Today III 

"Ya got to serve some body - It might be the devil and it might be the LORD, but, ya got to serve some body..." - Bob Dylan


Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him. - Proverbs 26.12


Last Time, we had ourselves a peek at one or two of the forces aligned against the ordinary fellow making a success of himself, financially. This time, we shall have a hopefully courageous look at what can happen when we have dug too deep too long and at the consequences of supposing that to continue to do the same things will produce a different result. Then, just for a change of mood, we shall have a peek at the outcome and, a surprise ending, perhaps. All of which goes to say, Once having realized it is a hole one has dug, out of which one wishes to escape, the first thing to do is, *Stop Digging*. But, what if it is too late? What if stopping digging isn't enough? If one cannot reach the lip of the hole or otherwise pull himself out ...What to do?

And, if the recourse resorted to doesn't change one's habits of spending, what then? Why, we get another turn at the wheel of mis-fortune, don't we? ... Until we come to where we can say, Hi, my name is Joe Schmoe, and I am bankrupt...

Oh, but wait just one second! Changing one's spending habits? In America? Whadyameanbythagh, hungh? Hungh? Well, how about this, from someone whom you should know, Robert T. Kiyosaki, ...That, in the long run, it is not how much you make, it is how much you keep, and how many generations you keep it. Whoa, says one. But, Mr. Kiyosaki presses on, You must know the difference between an asset and a liability, and buy assets. For, Rich people acquire assets. The poor and the middle class acquire liabilities, but they think they are assets. Ow, says one, but on goes Mr. Kiyosaki, The middle class finds itself in a constant state of financial struggle. Their primary income is through wages, and as their wages increase, so do their taxes. Their expenses tend to increase in equal increments as their wages increase; hence the phrase, "the rat race". They treat their home as their primary asset, instead of investing in income-producing assets. Oh.

So, here comes downsize, capsize and so on...and off to bankruptcy court we go, again. What now? We play the same game the same way, and when the going gets tough, all we have is the out, bankruptcy?...O.U.C.H.

Now, here is the switch...What if, just, What if you could re-establish credit, no, re-establish "mainstream" credit after bankruptcy...in less than eight months? Means nothing, unless you have realized doing the same things the same way will get you the same results; that is, you have to have come to a certain level of sanity, and realize you have not only to do something different, but certain, specific things different - and all based upon a certain, definable change in attitude, as well, before what we have here to share is going to be meaningful to you in a long term sense.

There has to be a change in focus. Oh? Yes, a change of focus from looking good to doing good; from looking the look, to being the solid citizen. It means, Mastering Your Cash Flow, for starters. It means realizing you are not alone; the system is set up to permit your ignorance - to the advantage of others - and is likewise set up to assist you in the correct course, once you wise up. 'Stop driving through life looking through the rear-view mirror': To learn more, see www.afterbankruptcy.org. And, you know, Recovering from Bankruptcy by never going into debt leaves one out of the system of society, today. The question is, How does one hold one's head up in society after bankruptcy - and not repeat the same mistakes, which lead to the same outcomes? We must become informed so as to deal with society as it is, while we remain aware of just what it is. This is a power hidden from most folks, who either never realize they are the manipulated, or are of the sort who look for a free ride on the machinery of the system, whatever it is, never standing on their own two feet. To whom it is given to know more, the more is expected - and there is a way to go in the new light. Face it, you have yourself said it outright to yourself in the night, before, There just has to be another way. There is. Go.

Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him. Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens. - Proverbs 27.22-27

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Monday, April 26, 2004

email me! 

The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar;
it shall never go out. - Leviticus 6.13

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Sunday, April 25, 2004

Of Fools, Masters & Slaves Today II 

"Ya got to serve some body - It might be the devil and it might be the LORD, but, ya got to serve some body..." - Bob Dylan


Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. - Matthew 6.34


...Dashing Through The Snow...


Last Time, we did have a look at one aspect of a recovering fool's life, the financial, and only a beginning of that. This time we shall have a tiny peek at just a thing or two of the things arrayed to prevent or, failing that, hinder the amassing of wealth and, if nothing else, to try to take it away again, once gotten.

We have heard of the Marxian method to tip out the pockets of the so-called haves to the supposed benefit of the so-called have-nots. Funny, how that system of robbery, however cheerfully compared to Robin Hood, seeing how it is nevertheless theft, compares to the current American system of taxation. The degree of compulsion is pointed to in protest, don't you know and we are quickly reminded we are free Americans who willingingly volunteer to come under the jurisdiction of the Internal Revenue Service. Once there, of course, the distinction quickly evaporates...What we have is a well developed Progressive Taxation which means, in short, that it is very hard to get wealthy, for the more one's income grows, the more, the greater percentage of that income, is kept by the IRS. To rub it in, they make you send it in to them, quarterly or annually.

Oh, yes, the sitting American President has orchestrated important tax cuts and you can see how you, as an individual, benefited in 2003 by utilizing the tax calculator Heritage.org provides.

Historically, at least since the inception of the Federal Reserve and the Internal Revenue Service in 1913, it has been basically a case of, If Wealthy, Stay Wealthy. The idea has been, and seems apparently true, that the wealthy create jobs and other activities which drive the economy, helping our economy thrive like no other nation in history. In fact, it may fairly be said that the wealthy 'make money'. It may not long remain so. We may be killing one of those geese that lay the golden eggs for America.

For some years you will note on your handy-dandy IRS 1040, Line 42, with the strange words, Alternative Minimum Tax ... The upshot of which is, if you qualify, you get to compute your taxes all over again, by a new and completely different set of complicated rules, and which usually arrive at a larger sum, and, of course, the rules say pay the larger of the two. This marvelous new tax, for that is frankly what it is, is a gift of our Progressive, not to say in public, Communist, and certainly Left and Proud of It Liberal brethren in Congress and their recently vacated from the Oval Office President. Its stated intent is to close some 'loopholes of the rich' which are resented by the so-called have-nots. Really, it is a typical manipulation of the Liberal by the Left and the Progressive to take away more money from all the people and concentrate it in the hands of the elites. The have-nots ye shall always have with you, remember?

While the IRS's 'regular' Income Tax is indexed to Inflation, at least for one reason, so people keep from gradually rising in to higher tax brackets while their income remains essentially the same, the AMT is not. That is another scary thing about this little item of AMT. Since AMT is not indexed to Inflation [another tax, don't you know?] it means, as incomes go up over time, the AMT digs deeper into the pockets of those working so hard Working For Money - holding them down - and of those growing in awareness of the power of money and are seeking to have Money Work For Them.

Without appearing to 'raise taxes' taxes are 'raised': by 2010, according to Tax Analysts, AMT is expected to affect thirty-seven percent of households with incomes of $50K - $75K, and seventy-three percent of households with incomes of $75K - $100K, which is an increase of about one percent in each of these brackets from 2002. In addition, according to Washington D.C. headquartered The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, those who fall in AMT status face the loss of such deductions as itemizations for such things as state taxes, local property taxes, home equity loan interest, medical costs and miscellaneous expenses. Even having a large number of dependent exemptions might trigger having to compute tax for AMT.

This all means that the middle-class guy is again getting it in the neck - exemptions which traditionally helped him gain more power over his own money now engulfs him in another tax altogether. Some help, our Liberal Left. AMT grows. The Middle-Class shrink, not a healthy trend in a free society. According to the director for tax issues for the General Accounting Office, James R. White predicts the AMT 'burden' to impact one out of six taxpayers by tax year 2010; but according to Urban-Brookings, by 2010 the AMT will affect one in three, about thirty-three million, up from about one million in 1999.

We are told we are taxed when we earn and we are taxed when we spend and we are taxed when we save and, we are taxed when we die, maybe. That is, the poor and the middle class do. Taxes are highest on Earned Income and the least taxed is Passive Income. Someone you should know has said, The government taxes the income you work hard for more than the income your money works hard for. Learn more from Robert T. Kiyosaki .

It is contended that changing the tax system, or even reforming it entirely, can do our country good. May be. The forces aligned against man's freedom will fight. It will prove expensive and politically difficult, too, say some. A head tax, for example, where every one pays the same percentage of whatever income they have seems quite fair and, it has the blessing of Scripture...Both qualifications are to some equally dis-qualifying. Pity. A head tax has the potential of raising more money for government at less cost in the collection process and less out of pocket for everyone, in the end.

Fancy duds and cool rides don't mean you got the dough, though, maybe, just the credit...And that ain't the same, at all. Having the best, the fanciest, the newest or the biggest is not about wealth or even about being rich, any more than a gigantic mortgage and the ever fading hope of seeing Social Security and a decent retirement save you from a 'second career' as an aluminuim recycler out back some gas station, somewhere.

But, as we know, Opportunity Knocks but Once while Temptation Bangs on the Door for Years ... So, as the man says, Master Your Cash Flow.

We are indebted to United Services Automobile Association's USAA Magazine, Winter 2004 and its fine article, Through the Rabbit Hole, by Topanga Bird, for stimulating portions of this outpouring.


... Next Time ...

Next time, hopefully, we shall have a look at what can happen when...when the hole just gets too deep...

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Saturday, April 24, 2004

Of Fools, Masters & Slaves Today I 

"Ya got to serve some body - It might be the devil and it might be the LORD, but, ya got to serve some body..." - Bob Dylan


Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. - Matthew 6.34


a Preamble:

One of the characteristics of the late bloomer is the usually considerable extent of his resume of misadventures, mistakes, errors of judgement, close shaves and scrapes; foolhardiness and just plain hard headedness - and even cussedness - which has left an often long and arduous trail of disappointment, pain and heartbreak - no matter whatever pile of so-called success over the which he may now defensively crouch.

Most have heard the old saw about how the wise learn from others' mistakes and the average learn from their own, but the fool - he never learns. Quite right.

Only sometimes, God be thanked, one does become a recovering fool...


...What follows is a once-over-lightly treatment of only certain features of that character, when he has come to the end of himself and will see only the end of the past - or the beginning of the future.


The Lay of the Ground:

He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart. - Proverbs 11.29

As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion. - Proverbs 11.22

There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up. - Proverbs 21.20

The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. - Proverbs 22.7



And the Complication:



He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor. - Proverbs 22.9

There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty....The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself. - Proverbs 11.24,25

There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches...Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase...Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly...Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured. - Proverbs 13.7,11,16,18

Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress... - Psalm 123.2a

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The Light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. ... - Matthew 6.19-24

In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him. - Ecclesiastes, 7.14

For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil. - Proverbs 1.32,33

Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech, thee, send now prosperity. - Psalm 118.25



Discussion:



We find that:
Understanding that the difference between true religion and all else is that all else denies the Creator creature distinction, we may take it as therefore evident that even money is a manifestation of Providence; thus the matter is not the getting of it, but rather, the proper use of it, instead. For, that all of Creation, willy-nilly, does serve the Creator - and according to the Creator's dictates, alone, does lie at the bottom of all things, even of the things financial. Hence is seen the mercy of God in the institution of the forgiveness of debt, which is known today as bankruptcy. And therein, too, lies the key to wealth, as well, of the which most naturally pray, Let there always be more. It has been heard said that, The first thing one must do in order to avoid the one and, LORD willing, accumlate the other is, Master Your Cash Flow.

In the light of the above, pun intended, many advisers agree: Of personal income, give away ten percent, save ten percent and invest ten percent; live on the rest. Heard it said, That the poor spend what they have and invest the rest while the rich invest what they have and spend the rest. One is heard to answer when asked, Which: ...on the net or on the gross?, with this question in return, Do you wish to be Grossly blessed or Netly blessed?

It has been stressed elsewhere that there are basically three forms of income; Earned Income, Passive Income, mostly derived from real estate investments, and Portfolio Income, i.e., 'paper assets', such as stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. The job, then, is to convert the first into the others, just a quickly as possible. In so doing, depending of course upon one's starting point, beginning with the poor and the middle class, one grows from the ranks of the employed and self-employed, working for money, on to that of the business owner and invester, and, eventually, to the professional investor: that of having your money work for you; the ranks of the rich and the wealthy, creating jobs and helping others along the way. In someone else's words, it is a matter of 'learning the lessons of life and moving on' - or, of being either of the sort which submits to the proddings of life by seeking safety, a false sense of insulation from life's buffets in job security born of scholastic achievment and loyal hard work for an employer - for oneself, even - with great benefits and golden retirement, or, of the sort which sees more, and angry, fights the system of underpay, overwork and the heartless marketplace, demanding 'entitlements' and looking to the state to provide. These last two sorts remain, Workers for Money. A trap, it is stressed, for working for money is a dead end. It is an, Only out of fear of loss or desire for gain whirling dervish - a monkey on one's back - of a tautology that drives one on. Some kind of bondage, in deed. But of the first, these, the only few of the few who not only see more, and which also are given sight to learn the lessons, who begin to grow knowledgeable in money - that they learn to have their money work for them - and thus become more truly productive in God's Creation, to the extent of coordination with and obedience to the proper use of money. More on this, from Robert T. Kiyosaki.


...Next Time...


There are, in deed, forces supernatural and natural - even one's own self - aligned against this, of course. Next time, hopefully, we shall have a peek at one or two, glimpsed over the battlements. whoooooo.






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Friday, April 23, 2004

Not To Worry, Dear, I've Sent for the Doctor... 

The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar;
it shall never go out. - Leviticus 6.13

...Message begins. Have sent for help. Hope messenger gets through. Can hear many drums. They sound close. Will hold out as long as we can. Come quickly. Message ends.

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Thursday, April 22, 2004

Got Something on the Stove...With Head Under the Hood... 

The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar;
it shall never go out. - Leviticus 6.13

It is a fine day and here we are, fiddling with the bells and whistles, once again...and, mind you, supposedly giving the little gray cells a bit of a rest from puzzling over a nice stew, too...

Well, she might run again, and the stew, well, let us all hope nobody croaks, eh?

We shall see what we shall see.

Meanwhile, feel free to browse and...that's for you, dear, along with fresh, hot tea, of course.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Americans Take Care of Their Own, Don't They? 

For no man ever yet hateth his flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it - Ephesians 5.29


Of the tens of thousands of troops, airmen, sailors and marines deployed from this country to turn the other cheek for us - to risk it all, that we might live and live that life free - not to mention the thousands comprising the real contribution in flesh and blood of Coalition Nations, it is with a bit of a wrench to discover and have to report that many, that is, thousands go without any personal contact from home at all. May we encourage all y'all to point your browser to www.soldiersangels.com and see what you can do to lend a hand? Thank you.

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Thursday, April 15, 2004

WC - The Private Plaything of Certain Insurance Co's? 

To get right to the point: With Commissioner Garamendi 'charging' high sums for Workers Compensation Insurers to get to operate in California, it in effect creates a private lake out of California from which certain companies can shut out many competitors and, in the end, operate at increasing profit - at the expense of the beleagered business owner and employer and finally, the worker. To boot, by remaining silent about these things, the efforts at reform are left to target the health care provider, the employee in general and the fraction of injured workers who take advantage in particular to account for the enormous "costs" of WC, without taking into consideration all the reasons for the premiums the employer has to pay, and leaves the forum for reform uninformed in a most unfortunate way. All this is suggested by how little people are ready to discuss the issue of competition vis a vis reform of WC and insist instead on concentrating on health care provider abuse and on fraud, especially by the injured worker. It is politely suggested this is ill-advised and the reader's attention is drawn to the following "Message From the District" for March 2004 found on the front page of the monthly circular put out by the Sacramento Valley District of the California Chiropractic Association, which message is copied over in its entirety for the reader's edification and a more balanced understanding of the issues before the movement to reform WC in California:

Kassie Donoghue is a local Sacramento chiropractor who also belongs to the CCA. On February 8, she responded to a Sacramento Bee article which had described issues surrounding the current workers compensation imbroglio. from reading her letter, you will see that she is clearly a chiropractor who gets 'the big picture'. Her conscientious work should be thanked by members and non-members alike. If you're not a member of the CCA, what are you doing to ensure the survival of your profession? Here is her letter:

"In 'Worker comp a money loser' (Jan.22, Business, page D1), insurance companies selling workers' compensation lines say they lost money doing so. But this is only half the story. Private insurers offering workers' compensation coverage also posted these stunning gains in 2003:
* Zenith: 200 percent increased profits in the first half.
* American Financial Gorup: profits of 600 percent for property and casualty.
* Chubb: Net income up over 330 percent.
* St. Paul Companies: profits up 225 percent in the third quarter.
* Everest Re Group: 89.9 percent net income increase.
* American Insurance Group: third quarter profits up 27 percent.
"Indeed, premiums for my practice have skyrocketed more that 500 percent in the last three years, yet there has never been a claim.
"Insurance industry officials are quick to blame health-care costs for the outrageous workers' compensation premiums they charge employers, including me.
"However, they fail to acknowledge that they purposely priced the insurance low to try to gain market share.
"The insurance industry's game plan for reform is to limit injured workers' access to health care and take away their choice of medical providers. Yet, any savings that may be gained by providing less care to injured workers will be pocketed by the insurers, not passed on to business owners. How could this travesty possibly be called reform?
"Chiropractic care comprises only 5 percent of the workers' compensation system, yet chiropractic visits were arbitrarily capped in last year's 'reform' law.
"What is really needed to bring financial relief to businesses is a cap on insurance rates, not phony reforms that won't work."

- Kassie Donoghue, co-owner of Advantage ChiroCare in Sacramento and Vice President of Finance for the California Chiropractic Association

There you have it. Amazing profits achieved by insurers doing business in California's apparently very lucrative workers' compensation market and very high, some say exorbitant, fees, charged by the Insurance Commissioner of the State of California to insurance companies selling workers' compensation policies seeking entry to the California market - does this constitute an entry fee to a private party - at the Californians' expense? Mmm, this Cheddar is the real thing. Do have a bit, won't you?


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Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Resolved: America Resolute, Redoubtable 

The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar;
it shall never go out. - Leviticus 6.13

Webster's Definition of - Resolve - to reduce to simple or intelligible notions, make clear or certain, free from doubt: to cause to perceive or understand:
e.g. "Iraq is the place in which the enemies of the civilized world are testing the will of the civilized world...the consequences of failure in Iraq would be unthinkable...we must not waver." - U.S. President George W. Bush, East Room White House Press Conference 041304

In a recent address given by a sitting U.S. Senator, the situation in Iraq was knowingly and deliberately mis-compared to the American experience in Viet Nam; which assertion was quickly taken up by the media, foreign and domestic, various and sundry Islamist, jihadist terrorist mouthpieces and the campaign of the Democratic Party Presidential candidate, John F. Kerry. Giving aid and comfort to the enemy - you know what that is.

Webster's Definition of - Redoubtable - Formidable; terrible to foes; valiant. It is terrible to stand for something on one's own, if necessary, in the eyes of those whose sense of right and wrong seems limited to the consensus of the lowest common denominator in any population and always, that which is expedient and panders to the self interest of the hedonist. Such a low bar is held in high esteem by those who appear to view matters of moment through a veil of moral equivalence; sometimes the enlightening nature of this term is too bright and an alternative is put forward, that of moral relativity. The upshot remains that valiant behaviour is a stranger in these waters and the U. S. effort to stand up against evil is viewed with suspicion and fear and alarm and the noted disapproval of certain countries - which has been seen to be entirely motiviated by short term greed and corruption in their dealings with Iraq and the U.N. in the so-called, Food for Oil program, in which upwards of ten billions of U.S. dollars did flow away from the mouths of the Iraqi people in to instead the pockets of Saddam Hussein, French, Russian and U.N. officials - is pointed to with further alarm by our morally relativistic ones to 'prove' the U.S.'s error in moving on Iraq and staying there till 30 June 2004. "Peace Through Talk", aka, Appeasement - and you know where that led when Hitler was the then current enfant terrible.

American might is not so much feared by these as coveted; as is American prosperity envied...It is freedom, morality and American enterprise, and aye, even good, old fashioned biblical Christianity that sparks fear and hate in the hearts and minds of the wicked in this world for that price is too high for the riches desired. Plunder and spoil is easier. Religion is here of valid concern for, Islam as rightly understood and expressed by what are called terrorists by their present tactics seeks the submission of all peoples to its religion, by the sword *or* tribute paid for being suffered to continue to exist.

Meanwhile, our moral relativists, ostensibly seeking to plumb the depths of the state of affairs leading up to the attack 11 September 2001, in order to prevent a recurrance - the putative reason for the "9/11 Hearings" - is so divergent from its obvious actual intent to politicize the attack to the advantage of the Democratic Party at the expense of the Republican Party, during a Presidential election campaign year to such a extent as to harm the the American People and is of such a degree intentional that one wonders how damaging is the resultant further giving of comfort and aid to the enemey by furthering the appearance that America is not one in facing our enemies with resolve and thus, redoubtable - and so, vulnerable!

In this vein, cudos to Mr. Eric Hogue, radio talk show host heard broadcast on 1380 AM Sacramento and streamed via www.ktkz.com. This morning Mr. Hogue made note of the Obituary in the Sacramento Bee, copied from the Associated Press, Chicago, of the passing of Fred Olivi, co-pilot of the Enola Gay, the B-29 bomber which dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, truncating the war in the Pacific and thus precipitating the end of WWII. Lt.Col. Olivi self-published his book, Decision at Nagasaki. Mr. Hogue read to his listeners what Olivi had had to say about the devastation wreaked on Japan by the A-bombing, "While thousands died, I feel sure the bomb had to be dropped because if the Americans and been forced to invade Japan, it would have been a bloodbath", during an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times in 1995. To his higher credit, Mr. Hogue, eying the behaviour of certain Senators and the existence and activitities of the "9/11 Hearings", used this opportunity to point out how America seems to be losing its resolve in less than a year of operations in Iraq.

Weakened by moral quicksands and fifth column manipulators of the mob, America is hampered in her calling to protect the free proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and so offer freedom, rule of law and a measure of peace in a fallen world.

Recent events in Iraq demonstrate that, America, when seen as less than of one mind and resolution in our determination to stop terror, confine Islam and foster freedom and morality, she immediately again becomes the target of Islamic, jihadist terror, whether at home or abroad, with renewed vigor.

Resolved: America the resolute, redoubtable - and a dreadnaught - a fearless person - a lion among jackels and the hyena. Do please try the South African, it is quite piquant.

cc: Eric Hogue

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Tuesday, April 13, 2004

A Mind Adrift - A First Peek  

The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar;
it shall never go out. - Leviticus 6.13


Spinning in the vortex, tumbling, 'little grey cells' gyrate, axons akimbo, then flag and flake; "That sinking feeling" fully welling as the gaping vorticel closes about...A mind too carefully compartmentalized too long will begin with time to come undone - who knew?

Flashes and glimmers, lightning over the horizon, buried in darkness, muffled rumbles - turbulence unending, one thinks all kept quietly away from public view, wiggles and squirms - a genie discontent in his bottle. Will the song of one's heart ever come to light, or destroy its vessel in desolate dungeon, unescaped?

Such thoughts, or such feelings, surely, have coursed through many; the artistic, creative, the hedonist, the slave. Subjugation by any means, for any purpose chains the soul of the flesh that knows no soul but its own gratification. Let be, let be, it cries - but to mortify the flesh, that it would live forever, as so goes the promise, is the task. Hang in, there. Here, may I rinse the dregs from your cup?

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Monday, April 12, 2004

Mixed Metaphors - Recurrent Theme 

The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace...Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. - Psalm 29.11; John 1.13

There are inevitably times, when knowledge or news of those who are confronted with evil and even with death, and that unpleasantly, becomes foreground - that the urge to encourage rises...Keep Your Head Down, Stand Tall! and so on and so forth. Inasmuch as evil is insidious and can appear as an angel of light, this occasional department is dedicated to the encouragement of those under attack, meeting adversity, confrontation and aggression, facing evil or death, or both. In support, reference to or even extended citation of other writers is likely in order to meet the demands incumbent to the proper discharge of the responsibility of this department.

On this occasion, ~ elderflower ~ would encourage a couple of groups, in particular. There are, for one, many in so-called 'restricted' nations who worship the Triune God of Scripture under the shadow of persecution to one extent or another - to the extreme in some and those who risk alike in bringing Bibles and other materials in to those peoples. Another group whose plight impinges upon one's consciousness these days are the young men and women of the Armed Forces of the United States and their officers and NCOs leading them as they serve the flag of the United States - and risk everything and sacrifice so much in the act that we might remain a free people and a net exporter of freedom.

Underneath are the everlasting arms - Deuteronomy 33.27 ... God - the eternal God - is Himself *our support* at all times, and especially when we are sinking in deep trouble. There are seasons when the Christian *sinks very low in humiliaton*. Under a deep sense of his great sinfulness, he is humbled before God till he scarcely knows how to pray, because he appears, in his own sight, so worthless. Well, child of God, remember that when thou art at thy worst and lowest, yet 'underneath' thee 'are the everlasting arms'. Sin may drag thee ever so low, but Christ's great antonement is still under all. You may have descended into the deeps, but you cannot have fallen so low as *the uttermost*; and to the uttermost He saves. Again, the Christian sometimes sinks very deeply in *sore trial from without*. Every earthly prop is cut away. What then? Still underneath him are 'the everlasting arms'. He cannot fall so deep in distress and affliction but what the covenant grace of an everfaithful God will still encircle him. The Christian may be sinking under *trouble from within* through fierce conflict, but even then he cannot be brought so low as to be beyond the reach of the 'everlasting arms' - they are underneath him; and, while thus sustained, all Satan's efforts to harm him avail nothing.

This assurance of support is a comfort to any *weary but earnest worker* in the service of God. It implies a promise of strength for each day, grace for each need, and power for each duty. And, further, *when death comes*, the promise shall still hold good. When we stand in the midst of Jordan, we shall be able to say with David, 'I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me'. We shall descend into the grave, but we shall go no lower, for the eternal arms prevent our further fall. All through life, and at its close, we shall be upheld by the 'everlasting arms' - arms that neither flag nor lose their strength, for 'the everlasting God fainteth not, neither is weary'. - C.H. Spurgeon, 11 November Morning

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Sunday, April 11, 2004

Of the Hammock Disabused 

Unwanted, disowned, deformed or mental, who wants them? How let we let them live, poor things? Let us be decent and put them down, as good folk do with a dear pet past its usefulness. Or, perhaps, there is another cause, face to keep, one's honor to guard, an indiscretion to, er, bury, shall we say? Or is it simply, No thank you, we'd just as soon have a boy? And then, how about a just plain routine 'morning after' remedy from a night's frolic, eh?

Never mind. We have our rights. We get to decide what happens to another without due process of law by deliberately ignoring the most basic facts of life. We are just smart animals, anyway, and all our parts will, one day, be recycled to benefit the living. We hope we always will have the right to decline being donors. Amazing the market in unborn child parts is. Yeah, stem cells are only a tiny part of it...skin for grafts and eyes for transplantation, and so on. Hence the value of as far developed the infant donor as possible, leading to that wonderful invention of our medical profession of crushing the skull of a full term child in labor at the last possible moment in order to harvest the parts to the highest profit of Planned Parenthood.

What was going on in the mind of the lady who had her little ones, in their pajamas, get up in the dark of night and go out into the back yard and lay their little heads obediently down on a rock and watch Mommy bash their brains out against a starry sky? Find her innocent by reason of insanity? Bah, that is craziness, itself! Find her guilty of aggravated multiple murder, infantacide, stipulate her 'insanity'; get her treatment for her so-called illness and, when sufficiently recovered, put her in jail or execute her for the murders of her children.

In too many countries today, many are incarcerated or killed without due process of law; some one deciding the fate of another, willful, arbitrary, final. The practice of Abortion is such a practice. As long as one allows for this violation of human rights in the interests of the self, one widens the door to the day when some one else will decide for you that you are too old or too poor or too white or black or whatever to receive the health care that keeps you alive, or actively eliminates you for your voting record or your gender or your I.Q. or your age or your job.

To support our society and continue in the course we seem bent upon a growing number of retirees requires and demands a growing base of young ones entering the workforce, paying taxes and contributing to our social support services, retirement and health care, or our society will collapse of its own weight. It already happened in the Soviet Union, and, given the present state of affairs, will happen in China in a quarter century or so, on account of their mis-guided human resource management policies. More than a million men turn eighteen years old each year in China, while, thanks to abortion policy, the ratio of men to women we hear is approaching something on the order of seventy-five to one in the ages of eighteen to thirty-five or so. Apart from any ideological struggle, we might soon find the 'Yellow Hordes' swarming over the earth in search of women, our women, let alone bread.

In this country, less than one-half of one percent of abortions are for discovered abnormalities of the unborn infant or for reasons of rape or incest, as if these were justifiable reasons to kill an innocent bystander. Fully twenty percent of abortions in the U.S. are for gender selection, girls being 'dis-selected' for the expectation of a boy, next time. So much for Women's Liberation. Finally, the rest of the abortions commited in the U.S. are simply "contraception", after the fact. These figures come from Planned Parenthood, as does the fact that somewhere above one and a half million Americans are eliminated yearly by such means and for such reasons, without due process of law.

We hear some call for jobs. The National Education Association is the major teacher's union in this country and is an outspoken advocate of abortion...What is wrong with that picture? Roe v. Wade occured thirty-some years ago and the pace of death has been reported as steady at about one million five hundred thousand abortions a year since...Consider how many teachers would have been required to teach the little ones...And how many police to police them and how many construction workers to house, transport and administer them? And so on and so forth. That would be about four hundred fifty million children born over the past thirty years, alone. At about twenty kids per class, that would be about two hundred twenty-five million more teachers, alone. Think of the scientists, scholars, explorers, miners, truck drivers, public officials, state employees and so on. Jobs, in deed. Y'know, it is best, they say, to put in the cream, first, then pour the tea, did you know?

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Friday, April 09, 2004

Oh, Mary! 

The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace...Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. - Psalm 29.11; John 1.13

Just heard about what happened recently in Ashville, North Carolina ... Seems some fellow owed some money to someone who let the guy pay off his debt by unauthorizedly posting the creditor's message on six full-size bill boards in the Ashville area; an area self-described as 'the San Francisco of the Carolinas', or some such. This is what the bill board messages said:

Leviticus 20
13   If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

*Well!* You could a heard the uproar all the way to Baltimore! This Bible-belt town could not stand for this at all and caused the man, an employee of one of the largest bill board companies in this country, to be fired and the messages promptly torn down. Question. When was the last time you heard of an uproar over the signs advertising the local sex shop or some such? Seems our revisionist nation would prefer to restrict freedom of speech to matters of filth and trash and rampant rebellion and *Silence* Decent-speak. When I was in school, revisionism was a term only applied to Communist countries; how quaint. The Founding Fathers were specifically concerned with the freedom to speak and assemble and so on in freedom of expression in political and state matters - a great advance in personal freedom in the world at the time. This was the intent and application of the Constitution, until the revolution of the U.S. Supreme Court, wherein it was asserted that, while hitherto cases coming before the Court would be judged in the light of the Constitution, henceforward it would be the Constitution viewed in the light of the case law coming before the Court. So down went the grand experiment of the united States of America. Oh, would you care for some fruitcake, dear?

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Fan the Chaff 

The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace...Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. - Psalm 29.11; John 1.13

Webster's Definition: Fanatic: L; inspired by a deity, frenzied: Marked by excessive, enthusiasim and intense uncritical devotion.

We are asked to believe that only 'fanatics' prey upon America, not 'moderate' muslims...So, where are these 'moderates' in this present trouble in Iraq? Where are these 'moderates' speaking out here, in America, against the other muslims accused of being 'fanatical', such as the ones who flew those aircraft into the World Trade Center Towers 11 September 2001, and so on?
We are told Islam is a religion of peace and quiet...Islam, we are told, is afflicted by 'fanatics', much like the 'fanatical' 'Christians' who burn baby abatoirs and shoot the 'doctors' who perform the abortions there. What rot.
Islam is a religion of works, of conversion by force of arms. Its very name means, Submission - to the sword. Those who take this seriously are not rightly, fanatical, but rather, wholly commited to their religion's teachings. In this and in this alone we respect them; whatever we may think of the beliefs they hold, to the extent they seem to excercise themselves to faithfully live out and die according to their understanding of their religion, we respect them. They are not to be compared to the criminals who commit arson and murder, supposedly on behalf of the unborn child. Except in this one important characteristic: Both groups, commited muslim and abatoir burning, abortionist killing so-called christians both evidence the same behavior...By 'sacramental' murder and mayhem raising, they attempt to effect change. In this, they evidence the same character: rebellion.
Rebellion, you say? Yes, let us have a look at Webster's Definition: Rebellion is, Opposition to one in authority. Well, now. We are begging the question, aren't we? What authority overarches both muslim and christian, such that the faithful adherence to the tenets of one and the abberent behavior, crime, of the other is the same rebellion against the one and the same authority? We put it to you that that authority is the God the muslim pretends to obey and the self-described christian, too. Yet, neither is in conformity with God's Law, unless and until each first has been by Him made a partaker of His Redemption. And then, all their life is only a beginning of obedience. And be certain, all to the contrary notwithstanding, God's Law does not run to evanglicalism by the sword nor arson nor murder.
What disturbs more, is how so often the faithful Christian is daubed with the brush of fanaticism - by those who are by nature innocent of the knowledge of God and are thus only acting naturaly when they hold themselves aloof from such knowledge and so, are themselves not only guilty of all sin, but also yet undelivered from such "sinnership", to coin a term. Faithful Christianity is never fanatical, by definition. Faithful, biblical Christianity is full of the Holy Spirit, yes and highly devotional in tone, true, while this never truly and properly in and of itself leads to violence...It is one's remaining sinfulness that is responsible for any of that. One's 'thorn in the flesh', so to speak. How oft does one gore another!
Faithful, biblical Christianity is relational, first and foremost. Never are the faculties of the mind disengaged but, rather sharpened in growing perception of reality as reality is in the eyes of the Creator, as over against that of the creature. This is the great characteristic of such true, Biblical Christianity, in deed. From Cornelius Van Til we have this, 'The difference between true religion, true Christianity and everything else is that everything else denies the Creator creature distinction.' This God is and together with one's neighbor is despised by all men unless and until that God reveals himself to one; and only then does one become aware of that reality, that relation, out of which only does true devotion Godward and true love for one another growing out of such devotion arise. The practical aspect of such devotion is obedience. The practical outcome of such devotion and 'love' is, again, obedience and the true expression of that love is, once more, obedience.
Never does faithful, biblical Christianity evangleize by the sword, for such is not productive of saving faith, that precious, unattainable gift of God, which is his alone to give and one's duty, surely, to cry for, humbly, repentantly. And should one ever do so, it is likely that He has acted and so one is likely to find Him, then.
One may have heard the proverb, That one reaps what one sows. Let us see this in perspective: From Galatians, Chapter Six and verses seven through ten:

7   Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8   For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
9   And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
10   As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

We think this our first effort at addressing this topic in some small way and so beg our readers' patience. Oh, do please try the green tea, won't you?





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Thursday, April 08, 2004

Enemies Are Okay - Like Me 

Total Depravity:
Situational Ethics + Values Clarification =
Secular Humanism =
Moral Equivalence

To wit: From Romans, Chapter One, verses 16 through 32:

16   For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17   For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
18   For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19   Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20   For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21   Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22   Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23   And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24   Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25   Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26   For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27   And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28   And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29   Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30   Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31   Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32   Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Once more: Total Depravity:
Situational Ethics + Values Clarification =
Secular Humanism =
Moral Equivalence

Well, Senator Ted Kennedy and his ilk will have to face the Author of the preceeding citation, one day, willy nilly. O LORD, have mercy. Oh, look. The tea has gotten cold. Here, let me put the kettle on...

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Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Red Carpet Duplicity 

The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace...Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. - Psalm 29.11; John 1.13

Seems ever so strange to the informed that Democratic Party gains or losses in election campaigns, and so on should be so consistently depicted in Media National Maps by the color blue, and the Republican, red. It is as if it is feared even the 'stupid masses' would guess too easily should the colors be more correctly, red for Democrat and true blue for Republican. Yeah, and cheesy are where those are who seek to portray our country in a poor light, as seen in the eyes of France, Germany and Russia, alone. Our troops know what they are in Iraq for and so does our morally superannuated Senator Ted Kennedy - which fact he and his do not like, for, should we succeed in Iraq before he and his can bring down the sitting government in the eyes of the people [an excercise in elite manipulation of the dumbed down but oh, so sensitive masses], they will be faced with yet another place where the rule of law prevails and freedom rings, much to the distaste of those who want to bring this country and what it represents down and dead...and the Jews, too, while they are at it.
Mr Kennedy would be embarrased by the graceful, mature letter from that eighteen year old Marine, killed Saturday, which so concisely put things in order, were Senator Kennedy's soul not so seared. By some fluke, the young Marine's letter was read in part and his father were featured on National Television one morning early this week. Providence.
We can think of nothing finer than that our country return to her roots, not reactionaryily, no, not ever...But, in living, advancing recognition for the Founding Father's Wisdom superceding the hitherto prevailing adolescent rebellious revisionism we see today. The rot has run deep, very deep and perhaps, may be only overturned by special providence yet to manifest.
We see a war being fought, with more at risk, right here, in the home, on TV and the radio...Your heart is the target...We can let the enemy prevail by our indolence and carelessness...and die. It is up to you. D'you know, the pate is real duck?

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Monday, April 05, 2004

Get Blown Up and Be Blamed for it - TV Logic 

The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace...Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. - Psalm 29.11; John 1.13

Johnny, leave the TV off! If you are under three years old, you must not view television, else your brain will hard wire wrong...image centered rather than word, er, language centered...So reports Pediatrics in this month's issue...And goes on to say one hour of Boob Tube increases such a one's risk of attention deficit disorder by ten percent... Gee, Now we can believe our eyes.

We are intrigued by the notion that terrorism is in response to oppression by those terrorized - and further, that it is in fact the terrorized's fault for the attacks. Of course, one's thoughts run to the Israeli-Palestinian trouble in such a case...We are told Palestinian terrorism is in response to Israeli occupation, and it is true that, according to the Koran, once a geographical area has been ever established with an Islamic 'sovereignty', it can never be alowed to revert to any other...So, "Israeli Occupation". Did you know that about thirty percent of Palestinians are Christian? Do not then the Palestinian Christians suffer from this 'occupation' as do the muslim Palestinians, or no? Only, just one question, then, please... Have we ever ever heard of a Christian Palestinian participating in suicidal terror attacks - or, for that matter, terror attacks of any kind? So, what? So, what, indeed...The significance is plain: Islamic terror has nothing to do, really, with the actions of the victims, before or after...only with their continued existence. We have Dennis Prager to thank for helping to point out this obvious-once-the-veil-is-removed fact. Check Dennis out.

Oh, and as if appeasement hadn't already gotten to itself enough of a black eye from the actions of the British Government in its giddy guilty manner vis a vis Herr Hitler, opening the way to World War Two, we hear the same terrorist crowd who, by its recent attack on the commuter trains of Madrid bullied the Spaniards into overthrowing their government which stood allied with the United States in Iraq and voting in a gang of Socialists promising to remove the Spanish contingent from Iraq should the U.S. not leave Iraq in June as promised has today made known its demand for the immediate removal of said contingent, else Spain will "run with blood". Could we expect anything else? Oh, do try the cheese.

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Aw, Shucks Intro - Hi, Ma! 

Read All About It: ~ elderflower ~ is Here!

Welcome. Come on in, s'cuse the mess...It's just the cranial encrustations of one left to himself too long...Here, have a seat and put your feet up and cool it a spell, hear?

Heard it on the grapevine...'My value rides so much on my behaviour'...Sometimes I just keep on too hard for too long - and tend to lose it all.

So, here we are, together at the auspicious opening of ~ elderflower ~ blog, just for you and I. Here, let me copy over for you the Description required in the set up for to have a blog, here, at all..."Utterances of variable clarity, replete with joy and other things; some wisdom, perhaps and madness aplenty and all may be to serve some small purpose in the grand scheme of things temporal and even, eternal."

Choke that down and have a laugh or two, or a chuckle, too and we could well become friends. Have you guessed the meaning of the Title? Yeah, I really had to think on that one, myself. Well, let me just leave you to marinate in the possibilities awhile, yet as we turn our attention to having a bit of a look about this new land, Ze Blogosphere, and the District of Elderflower, eh?

Hearsay has its virtures as does living on the 'Left Coast' has its advantages, like watching the 'impartial' media try to steal the election in 2000 by falsely announcing Florida for Gore two and half hours before the close of the West Coast polls. I witnessed this event with 'shock and dismay' and 'outrage', indeed. And, as it turns out, the Floridians had been targeted for creative vote counting before hand by our daring Democrats and later, we heard a little here and there, that this was not an isolated event at all.

We are told by our friends on the Democratic side of the aisle that our enemies are just that, enemies - and are not in and of themeselves, bad. A sort of 'moral equivalency' seems to pertain which to me only serves to mask morality gone begging in some, wouldn't you say? But when it comes to election campaigns and our fellow Americans, well, that seems to call for a more, shall we say, honest approach?

Moving our approach to terrorism from police action to a war footing is the natural and right responce to those who seek to kill us. We should have put down that rotten dog Arafat the first time he blew up an airliner, all those years ago. Hating America while spending our dollars is the way of our enemies as they seek our destruction and that of Western Civilization and, of course of the Jews under the banner of that false religion which seeks submission to the sword, Islam. Heard it said, that, how we have treated the Jews portends the later treatment of them and we, too one day, by others...

Well, that should provide some stimulation for some of you...Once I find out how to arrange for all you all to contact me or otherwise leave your own comments I shall so inform you...However, one caveat: I resolutely reserve the right to leave your deposit of commentary untouched, unreplied to and certainly unanswered as I alone see fit. The very volume of your adoring, supportive responses drives me to this harsh, but necessary rule. More tea, dear?

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Sunday, April 04, 2004

Uh, Hello? Hello? Uh, Who There? Oops, uh, Hi, There 

The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace...Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. - Psalm 29.11; John 1.13

Golly gee, fellas. This is really cool. Take ourselves just a seriously as we might imagine we might, or not. On any given day, we get to lay it out, for all to see - Sheesh, scary thought! Lord, Order our steps in thy Word: Let not any iniquity have dominion over us. - Psalm 119.133
What a wonderful thing, Providence and this example, the Blog. May we thus be of some small service, any how. Look out! D.V., Hold on to your hat, cuz, Here we come! To the Blogosphere and away!

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