Monday, June 18, 2018

The Cowboy




The Round Up
N.C. Wyeth
(1904)



"What care I, what cares he,
What cares the world of the life we know?
Little they reck of the shadowless plains,
The shelterless mesa, the sun and the rains,
The wild free life, as the winds that blow."
With his broad sombrero,
His worn chaparajos,
And clinking spurs,
Like a Centaur he speeds,
Where the wild bull feeds;
And he laughs, ha, ha!-who cares, who cares!

Ruddy and brown-careless and free-
A king in the saddle-he rides at will
O'er the measureless range where rarely change
The swart gray plains so weird and strange,
Treeless, and streamless, and wondrous still!
With his slouch sombrero,
His torn chaparajos,
And clinking spurs,
Like a Centaur he speeds,
Where the wild bull feeds;
And he laughs, ha, ha!-who cares, who cares!

He of the towns, he of the East,
Has only a vague, dull thought of him;
In his far-off dreams the cowboy seems
A mythical thing, a thing he deems
A Hun or a Goth as swart and grim!
With his stained sombrero,
His rough chaparajos,
And clinking spurs,
Like a Centaur he speeds,
Where the wild bull feeds;
And he laughs, ha, ha!-who cares, who cares!

Swift and strong, and ever alert,
Yet sometimes he rests on the dreary vast;
And his thoughts, like the thoughts of other men
Go back to his childhood days again,
And to many a loved one in the past.
With his gay sombrero,
His rude chaparajos,
And clinking spurs,
He rests a while,
With a tear and a smile,
Then he laughs, ha, ha!-who cares-who cares?




"My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys"
Willie Nelson


"The Cowboy"
John Antrobus
(1837-1907)
British-born American 
poet and artist



On The Eve Of Bunker Hill




Bunker Hill Day commemorates the Battle of Bunker Hill,
also known as the Battle of Breed's Hill, which was
 fought on June 17 1775 on the Charlestown Peninsula,
 at Boston Harbor in Massachusetts.



 The Battle of Bunker Hill
June 17, 1775
E. Percy Moran
(1909)



'Twas June on the face of the earth, 
June with the rose's breath,
When life is a gladsome thing, 
and a distant dream is death;
There was a gossip of the birds in the air, 
and the lowing of herds by the wood,
And a sunset gleam in the sky
 that the heart of a man holds good;
Then the nun-like twilight came, 
violet-vestured and still,
And the night's first star outshone afar 
on the eve of Bunker Hill.

There rang a cry through the camp,
with its word upon rousing word;
There was never a faltering foot
in the ranks if those that heard;-
Lads from the Hampshire Hills
and the rich Connecticut vales,
Sons of the old Bay Colony,
from its shores and inland dales;
Swiftly they fell in line;
no fear could their valor chill;
Ah, brave the show as they ranged a-row
on the eve of Bunker Hill.

Then a deep voice lifted a prayer
to God of the brave and the true,
And the heads of men were bare
in the gathering dusk and dew;
The heads of a thousand men
were bowed as the pleading rose,-
Smite Thou, Lord, as of old
Thou smotest Thy people's foes!
Oh, nerve Thy servants' arms
to work with a mighty will!
A hush, and then a loud Amen!
on the eve of Bunker's Hill.

Now they are gone through the night
with never a thought of fame,
Gone to the field of a fight
that shall win them a deathless name;
Some shall never again behold
the set of the sun,
But lie like the Concord slain,
and the slain of Lexington.
Martyrs to Freedom's cause.
Ah, how at their deeds we thrill,
The men who made strong the height
on the eve of  Bunker's Hill.


"On The Eve Of Bunker Hill"
Clinton Scollard
(1860-1932)
American poet and fiction writer



Sunday, June 17, 2018

Happy Father's Day 2018




God took the strength of a mountain,

The majesty of a tree.

The warmth of a summer sun,

The calm of a quiet sea.


Father And His Sons
A painting by Barbara Rosenzweig



The generous soul of nature,

The comforting arms of night,

The wisdom of the ages,

The power of the eagles flight.


The joy of a morning in spring,

The faith of a mustard seed,

The patience of eternity.

The depth of a family need.


Then God continued these qualities,

When there was nothing more to add,

He knew His masterpiece was complete,

And so, He called it...Dad.

Happy Father's Day!


"What Makes A Dad"

Author Unknown


Third Sunday Meditation: A Sure And Steadfast Anchor Of The Soul





The Anchor For My Soul
Prophetic Christian Art
By Mindi Oaten




A MEDITATION FROM THE BOOK OF HEBREWS

CHAPTER SIX


Therefore let us go on and get past the elementary stage in
the teachings and doctrine of Christ, the Messiah, advancing steadily
towards the completeness and perfection that belongs to spiritual maturity.
Let us not again be laying the foundation of repentance and abandonment of
dead works (dead formalism) and of the faith by which you turned to God.

With teachings about purifying, the laying on of hands, the resurrection
from the dead, and eternal judgment and punishment. These are all matters
of which you should have been fully aware long, long, ago.

If indeed God permits, we will now proceed to advanced teaching.

For it is impossible to restore and bring again to repentance those who
have been once for all enlightened, who have consciously tasted the heavenly
gift and have become sharers of the Holy Spirit.

And have felt how good the Word of God is, and the mighty powers
of the age and the world to come.

If they then deviate from the faith and turn away from their allegiance-
it is impossible to bring them back to repentance, as long as they
nail upon the cross the Son of God afresh as far as they are concerned,
and are holding Him up to contempt and shame and public disgrace.

For the soil which has drunk the rain that repeatedly falls upon it and
produces vegetation useful to those whose benefit it is cultivated, 
 partakes of a blessing of God.

But if that same soil persistently bears thorns and thistles, it is
considered worthless and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.
(Genesis 3:17, 18)

Even though we speak this way, yet in your case, beloved, we are now
firmly convinced of better things that are near to salvation and accompany it.

For God is not unrighteous to forget or overlook your labor and the
love which you have shown for His name's sake in ministering to
the needs of the saints, His own consecrated people, as you still do.

But we do strongly and earnestly desire for each of you to show
the same diligence and sincerity all the way through in realizing and
enjoying the full assurance and development of your hope until the end.

In order that you may not grow disinterested and become spiritual
sluggards, but imitators, behaving as do those who through faith,
by the leaning of their entire personality on God in Christ in 
absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness,
and by practicing of patient endurance and waiting
are now inheriting the promises.

For when God made His promise to Abraham, He swore by
Himself, since He had no one greater by whom to swear.
Saying, Blessing I certainly will bless you and multiplying
I will multiply you. 
(Genesis 22:16-17)

And so it was he, Abraham, having waited long and endured
patiently, realized and obtained in the birth of Issac as a pledge
of what was to come, what God had promised him.

Men indeed swear by a greater than themselves and with them
in all disputes the oath taken for confirmation is final, ending strife.

Accordingly God also, in His desire to show more convincingly
and beyond doubt to those who were to inherit the promise,
the unchangeableness of His purpose and plan,
intervened, mediated with an oath.

This was so that, by two unchangeable things, His promise
and His oath, in which it is impossible for God ever to prove
false or deceive us, we who have fled to Him for refuge might 
have mighty indwelling strength and strong encouragement
to grasp and hold fast the hope appointed us and set before us.

Now we have this hope as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul,
it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whoever steps out
upon it, a hope that reaches farther and enters the very certainty
of the Presence within the veil.
(Leviticus 16:2)

Where Jesus has entered in for us in advance,
a Forerunner, having become a High Priest forever
after the order of Melchizedek.
(Psalm 110:4)



In The World, Not Of The World
A painting by Greg Olsen



Saturday, June 16, 2018

On My Mind: President Trump Meets The Tyrant... Burning Balloons... Strange Justice



"O EAST IS EAST AND WEST IS WEST
AND NEVER THE TWAIN SHALL MEET,
TILL EARTH AND SKY STAND PRESENTLY
AT GOD'S GREAT JUDGMENT SEAT;
BUT THERE IS NEITHER EAST NOR WEST,
BORDER, NOR BREED, NOR BIRTH,
WHEN TWO STRONG MEN STAND FACE TO FACE
THO' THEY COME FROM THE ENDS OF THE EARTH!"
The Ballad of East and West
-Rudyard Kipling



PRESIDENT TRUMP MEETS KIM JONG UN II





While I would love to see that the recent meeting between President Donald Trump
and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un II  brings about a better understanding and new
friendship between the United States of America and North Korea, I am not holding
my breath. While I believe that our president traveled to Singapore with the best of
intentions, I still do not trust Kim Jong Un II.  Only several weeks ago, he was not only
 refusing  to meet with President Trump, but, threatening to launch missiles at the US.
 Perhaps if and when this brutal tyrant, of his own free will,  decides to
  to release the thousands of Christian men, women, and children
that his regime has imprisoned because they refuse to worship him, 
then I  might seriously consider he is on the level when it
 comes to the denuclearization of his country.

 I think it is wise, regarding this situation, for believers to consider 
 the passage from 1 Thessalonians 5:3, "When people are saying, all is
well and secure and there is peace, then, in a moment of unforeseen
destruction, ruin and death will come upon them as suddenly as
labor pains come upon a woman with child; and they shall by
no means escape, for there will be no escape."




'THEY BURN AND WE PLANT"



Israeli schoolchildren release hundreds of balloons carrying candy near the
 Gaza Strip in response to Hamas' threat of launching as many as
 5,000 flaming kites and balloons at Israel.


In recent days, the notorious terror group, Hamas, 
  as part of their "March of Return" protest,
 has been sending hundreds of flaming kites
 and balloons over the Gaza border into Israel, 
and are threatening to send thousands more.
  One of the places effected by these flaming air assaults
 has been the border community of Nir-Am.
  
The residents there have lost their fields and trees
 due to these booby-trapped kites and balloons.
Yet despite facing this troubling situation,
 the resolve of the Israeli settler prevails,
 with one resident declaring,  
"They burn and we plant."

Meanwhile, the kids of the kibbutz
 have sought to resolve this ongoing conflict
by launching their own balloons
 back across the Gaza border, not with retaliatory  
 incendiary devices attached,  but, with candy,
 along with messages of peace.

The Israeli children of Nir-Am
 want to let the Arab children of Gaza
   know that they do not hate them. 

And, although Hamas' recent threat of launching
 5,000 flaming kites and balloons into Israel
failed to materialize, I pray that some of the
 innocent Arab boys and girls languishing 
under the evil terror regime in Gaza just might 
  have found or will find at least some of 
  the friendly balloons sent by the children of Nir-Am.  

"...and darkness was upon the face of the very great deep,
and the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
And God said, "Let there be light; and there was light."
Genesis 1:2-3



STRANGE JUSTICE IN THESE DAYS INDEED...



Shoplifting suspect Chanel Barnes


This past week, three people were caught shoplifting at the
 Marshall's Department Store in Deptford Township (Gloucester County)
New Jersey.  According to a report on The Philadephia Inquirer's website,
one of the three suspects, a woman named Chanel Barnes, 38, of Philadelphia,
was released from jail Thursday by a judge who described her character as
"abysmal" but felt that she was not a flight risk.

Store personnel at Marshalls claimed that they recognized
the suspects right away because the three had been involved in
 recent shoplifting incidents at other area stores. 
After watching them attempting to steal items on the 
 store's security cameras, the store personnel called
the police. When the authorities arrived, they saw that 
members of store security were struggling to hold one of the suspects,
 a man later identified as Raoul Gadsen, 36, of Philadelphia.

  Although he managed to break free and flee the store
 on foot, he was later found and apprehended by police.
  Meanwhile, Barnes, and the third shoplifter, a
woman named LaShanda Anderson, 36, also of Philadelphia,
ran out of the store and jumped into a waiting getaway car.

That's when Anderson, who was driving, tried to run
 over a pursuing policeman in the parking lot.
 Shots were fired by the officer which struck and killed Anderson.
  Chanel Barnes was arrested and taken into police custody.

According to the Inquirer report, all three of the suspects have 
extensive criminal records.  During Barnes' court hearing on
Thursday, assistant Gloucester County prosecutor Diane Reed-Rolando
argued that because of her past criminal record, the suspect should
remain in jail.  However, Barnes' attorney, Julius Hughes, insisted
that the third degree criminal charges his client faces makes her
eligible for release, which was later granted by Judge Robert Becker,
who called the suspect's behavior "abysmal" but allowed her to walk free.

According to the dictionary, the word, "abysmal" means someone 
whose behavior is deemed very bad, even appalling. This woman was caught
red-handed trying to steal things in a department store. She was in
the car that tried to run over a police officer.  This definitely sounds like
"abysmal" behavior to me!  And because she tried to run away from the
police chasing her at the store, how does this judge really know 
 for sure that she is not a flight risk and will not try to take off
 somewhere before they can set a date for her trial?

Meanwhile, the police officer involved,  a seventeen year veteran of the force,
whose name has been withheld from the public, has been suspended from duty
  pending an investigation into the shooting incident.

The local chapter of the NAACP is also weighing in on this case,
 calling for the State Attorney General's Office to takeover the 
investigation of the shooting while launching one of their own.  
Why is a civil rights group deciding to get involved?
Could it be that the officer who fired the gun was white?

Meanwhile, the family of the woman, LaShanda Anderson,
 who was fatally shot, have gone to the media, claiming that her
 death was "murder".  They too are demanding an investigation.
 As one family member told the Inquirer: "I don't care if she had 
a (criminal) history as long as a telephone book. It could have 
 ended differently. Her past is her past. I feel as though this was
another senseless killing of an unarmed African American woman."

Another senseless killing of an unarmed African-American woman?
 Isn't deliberately trying to run over a policeman with an  SUV
considered akin to lethal force and attempted murder under the law?

The news media and the NAACP are just itching to make this a case
of racial bias before all the facts are in.  I find it remarkable, although 
hardly surprising, that the Inquirer has sought out family members of
the dead suspect, mainly to capitalize on their grief, while they and the rest
of the media seem reluctant to track down any actual eye witnesses of
this tragic event which occurred on a busy Saturday afternoon.

The NAACP is insisting that the Deptford Police Department now
 install dash cameras in their patrol cars and wear body cameras 
"to provide more transparency" in incidents which involve shootings.
I agree.  In fact, from what I have recently seen concerning
  white police officers pulling over African-American
   drivers for some traffic offenses while wearing cameras
 to record the incidents  has actually worked to the
advantage of law enforcement, especially
 in regards to the truth.

 Two separate incidents recently made their way on to social
media.  In both cases, the body cameras worn by the police record
  the officers approaching the cars they pulled over on the shoulder
 of the road and them greeting both the man and the woman
  respectfully and with professional courtesy, as they asked to 
see their driver's licenses, registration, and insurance.
They then explained to both why they pulled them over.
Both drivers seem to cooperate with the police, and
although they obviously were not happy to receive
tickets for their driving offenses, they accepted the
citations and went on their way.

Both incidents should have been closed cases from there.

But these two troublemakers later went on social
media websites complaining that they were mistreated
and the police officers tried to intimidate them because they're black.
The man in the one incident later turned out to
be a member of the NAACP.
 The footage from the cameras, however, proved 
 that he and the woman in the other incident
 were lying about what really happened.
The police were simply doing their job.
What happened to these two people had to do with
careless driving and their own irresponsibility,
and nothing to do with their race or skin color.


In a related issue, according to the website Newsmax.com,
 a selected list of reading requirements  for freshman students
who will enter a South Carolina High School next fall have left 
parents and the local chapter of the Fraternal Order
of Police fuming with righteous indignation.

According to the report, the kids who are taking an English 1
college prep course at Wando High School next year
 are required to read two anti-police books,
"The Hate U Give" by Angie Thomas and "All-American Boys"
by Jason Reynolds and Brian Kiely.  

 Thomas' book depicts the killing of a teen's best friend by a police officer,
while the second book tells the story of a young man who is brutalized
  by a police officer after being falsely accused of stealing.

While the school administration does not see anything wrong 
 with the kids reading these books, John Blackmon, of the
Tri-County Fraternal Order of Police certainly does.

"Freshmen, they're at the age when their interactions with law
enforcement have been very minimal," he said. They're not driving yet,
they haven't been stopped for speeding, they don't have these types of
interactions. This is putting it in their minds. It's almost an indoctrination
of distrust of the police and we've got to put a stop to that."

Meanwhile, in the uncertain world of everyday life,
thousands of policemen and women across this nation,
white, black, Hispanic, Asian, and other ethnic groups,
daily put on their uniforms and leave their 
families and homes to go to work, upholding their
commitment to care about and to protect all Americans.

They all realize that this could be the day they will
encounter a dangerous situation or a desperate
 criminal. They also understand all too well that they might
  have to make a sudden, heart-wrenching decision
to take the life of another human being.

They also know that the life taken could be their own.

May God bless the brave men and women of law enforcement.
Their lives matter because all lives matter.
Especially to God.



Friday, June 15, 2018

The Flag Goes By







Hats off!
Along the street there comes
A blare of bugles, a ruffle of drums,
A flash of color beneath the sky:
Hats off!
The flag is passing by!


Blue and crimson and white it shines
Over the steel-tipped, order lines.
Hats off!
The colors before us fly;
But more than the flag is passing by.

Sea-fights and land-fights, grim and great,
Fought to make and to save the State;
Weary marches and sinking ships;
Cheers of victory on dying lips;


Annual Veteran's Day Parade In Milwaukee, Wisconsin



Days of plenty and years of peace;
March of a strong land's swift increase;
Equal justice, right and law,
Stately honor and reverend awe;

Sign of a nation, great and strong
To ward her people from foreign wrong:
Pride and glory and honor,-all
Live in the colors to stand a fall.

Hats off!
Along the street there comes
A blare of bugles, a ruffle of drums;
A loyal hearts are beating high:
Hats off!
The flag is passing by!



"God Bless The USA"
Lee Greenwood



"The Flag Goes By"
(1863-1924)
Henry Holcomb Bennett
American Poet