the image in the mirror


when you look in the mirror, who do you see? what do you see?

do you see etched lines? do you see the gravity of mortality?

or…do you see the brightness of youth?

Many years may pass, riding this big blue sphere circling the Sun, and you may have a fine trip, a fine journey….

but… do you know why you are here?

and where you are going?

when i was a child, i looked in the mirror and saw teeth. too big. ears. too big. why do i have big teeth? why do i have big ears?

but this too passes, as the picture in the mirror changes…

but eyes, ears, nose, mouth, face remain. they change slightly, as the seasons of life change, but they remain.

the image is the same.

there are special times in life…in some of our lives…when we encounter a face we saw 30 or 40 years ago. the face still has eyes, ears, nose, mouth, but the seasons have changed. at the heart of the face, in the eyes, we can still recognize the person behind that face….

….and each reflects the Artist who created the image.

“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created them, male and female He created them.”

So, God created the first man and woman in His own image.

But, He did not stop there. He used the genetic identification of the first man and woman to create their first children…

“When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image…”

Seth, Adam’s third son, was created in his likeness, according to his image. If then God created us in His own image, and Adam’s children were created in God’s image, and in the likeness of Adam, then surely you too are created in the image of God.

In the New Testament, The New Covenant, the Bible states that a man should not cover his face with hair, covering that which was made in the image of God. This is a disgrace, the Bible says, because that which was made in the image of God- eyes, nose, mouth, etc.

Likewise, covering most or all of the face with a mask that covers over the image is a disgrace because it is covering that made in the image of God. Our response, as men, to any mask that covers, or hides, much of our face, should be disgust, because it is an affront to God.

At this point I will not discuss what the Bible states about women, other than to say that the Bible has already said that women are created in the image of God. I may, at another time, address the specifics, but because of the need for brevity, I am focusing on men in this post.

If you are in the USA, no one can force you to wear a mask covering much of your face if you adhere to the Word of God as stated in the Bible, and in particular, 1 Corinthians. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 2, Subsection 42, gives you the right to physical access to goods and services because they cannot discriminate against you based on religious convictions.

One of the telltale signs of the coming of the antichrist will be the mark, or sign, of the antichrist, according to Revelation. It is instructive to note in Revelation that this Lawless one will make this mark or sign mandatory for the buying and selling of merchandise. If that does not get your attention by now, check your pulse. Trying to force anyone to wear something so that you can buy or sell is the mark of a system in line or similar to the antichrist. Forcing someone to wear a face covering when the disease or virus kills less than 1% of those who contract it is definitely a sign of someone reflecting Evil, not the God who created them.

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dichotomy


after a day out under ever-changing skies, watching leaves blowing, and gathering…instead of immersing myself in the pleasure of it, instead of embracing the kisses of warm wind, i sit distraught, pained. you would think by now, at my age, that i am roughened and weathered enough not to be so affected. but i am.

while i was reviewing my day, wondering where it went, and how much i had to do tomorrow, i stopped by my favorite you tube channels to find some relaxing music to play in the background while reading my mail. but instead of reading mail, i found a live broadcast from a North Korean living in America.

she calls herself the Voice of North Korea. Listening/watching her break down crying, trying to explain to an audience of people like me… with a warm bed, a roof overhead, and a place to call my own… that North Korean women right now are being sold into slavery in China…has left me stirred yet again.

as people who call ourselves Christians, are we truly aware that we can make a difference in a life like hers? a life that can be rescued? a life that is worth more than all we could give…a life that is as precious to God as the one we are living?

sure, we can pray…but what do we pray? how do we pray? do we pray for wisdom? do we pray for knowledge? sure…but do we pray for a way we can personally make a difference? i hope so.

i don’t know how God will use you to touch the people trapped in slavery. but humbling yourself and asking God what you can do, is a good start. and one i too am making tonight.

while the leaves are changing….outside my window, lives are changing on the other side of the world. join me in praying, not just for Yeonmi Park, but for those North Korean women, particularly in China, being sold into slavery…and speak out against the Communist Chinese regime enabling this.

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Down in the Boondocks


nothing says “Southern” food….in America…like a big pile of pulled pork, BBQ ribs, sweet potato fries and Coleslaw. (Yes, Coleslaw, is one word if you’re speaking Southern.)

this beautiful plate sat in front of me earlier today in McConnelsville, Ohio, at The Boondocks BBQ and Grill.

I am not in the habit of singling out restaurants, but in these times when the Great Fear has hurt businesses, I am featuring The Boondocks as a must visit if you venture south of Columbus, Cleveland, or Pittsburgh, or are out and about like so many uncaged birds now flying free from the restraints of the past several months.

October has arrived, and the drive is worth it. Along the Muskingum River and into the hills of Moco (Morgan County, Ohio), yellows, oranges, greens, and reds stick out in splendor, as the leaves change, and Autumn whispers in the wind. About a half hour south of Zanesville, Ohio, off of Ohio State Route 60, the restaurant is about a mile north of the town of McConnelsville. McConnelsville is a small, surprisingly busy town along the Muskingum River. If you are coming from West Virginia, it is just north of town on the left hand side of the road.

Whenever I travel within the area, I will purposely stop to have a Wasabi Burger, a steak, some pulled pork, the Fat Elvis, or another creative invention from the mind of Chef Bobby.

Slan go foill… maybe I’ll see you there.

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dear me… i am rolling in the doe!


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defacing respect


if my father had ever caught me spray painting a statue, a picnic table, or even a rock, i would have been punished, and humbled…reminding me of how small i was on this grand sphere we call earth. and that would not have been a bad thing. because i needed to learn to respect not just the planet, but also the people hanging on to the big blue ball in orbit. 

sure i did some dumb things in my childhood, but i never defaced anything with spray paint. i had common sense, which does not seem to be too common anymore.

this morning, since it was the coolest morning in a month, i headed out onto a popular rail trail to hike for awhile. parking along a one lane gravel road, i hiked in to one of the more remote sections, which was covered in a canopy of trees, until i came to the entrance to a half mile tunnel…

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twenty years ago, there was no graffiti on the front walls, and certainly not  on the rocks nearby…

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the magnificent tunnel, arching high above me, stretched forward, into the dark. but even into the darkness, graffiti on the walls, and empty spray paint cans on the graveled floor, assaulted my senses. thankfully no one appeared to be tall enough  to insult the upper walls and ceiling high above me…

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years ago, there were a few random pronouncements, mainly from some machoistic boys bragging about their sexual conquests with various girls. now, all manner of garbage defaced the walls of this historic tunnel.

grafitti

what i want to know is who are these idiots disrespecting America’s natural and historic treasures? are these the masses who were never disciplined, who were never taught the meaning of respect, who never saw value or worth in human beings, nor in anything God created?

surely, these are the signs of a perverse and wicked generation, one destined for self-destruction…unless they are confronted with reality.

thewayout

 

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May Flowers


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what to do with your spare time…in a raging pandemic


while many in 184 countries around the world are rising to do their civic duties to adhere to pandemic-time protocols, obediently sheltering in place, i am sitting, alone in my remote room, staring out the window wondering…

…what is “zoom”       …and does it cause permanent whiplash?

you would think I would have enough hours in the day to investigate such an important aspect of the spring of 2020… but I just don’t have the time. too much to do. too many places not to go. too many books not to read (the library is closed). 

there are bills i cannot pay…because…”they” are closed. there are forms to file….that i cannot file…because those forms need to be returned to offices that no longer exist. there are companies i need to contact that no longer have phone numbers to call. quite frankly, life as we know it, has become like a Socratic dream, a Platonic nightmare.

so…forgetting those bulleted one liners in my appointment book, i have chosen to engage myself in creative endeavors to pass the time…and to give my brain time…to remember what i actually do have to do today…or tonight. purposeful pursuits, one might say.

and i preface these with…now that i have the time….     as in… 

now that i have the time, i can do endless 5 minute word searches from…actually, I do not know where you get word search books anymore.

suffice to say, one must engage one’s mind to keep one’s mind fresh. after all, it is a pandemic, and we all had better sharpen up on our PHD-level medical skills. because…

now that I have the time, I can catch up on all the latest testing platforms identified by the CDC, NIH, FEMA, MRT, BOX…or outside the BOX. 

then again, maybe you would rather spend your spare time wisely, such as

  1. do a scientific study…from home…on case studies in Hysteria, starting with The Saint Vitus Dance.

     2.  read a romantic tale of life in the Bubonic Plague…probably easily found on Gutenberg.org. (Where all the juicy stuff is)

     3. Do a search on The History of Ferret Farming…for fun and profit…

     4. text all of your classmates in Abnormal Psych Class….and learn from their behavior…

5. do a public reading of “The Old Man and The Sea” from your front porch, from        8am until you fall asleep from boredom…

Now, I have run out ideas…momentarily. So, what would you suggest people do in their spare time while “sheltering in place?”

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A spring day in the gardens


yellowbetweentreesclosuplobeddelia2eggyellowflowers

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White Trillium


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a nice time to go under the knife


if you’re going to have to stay inside anyway…why not have a surgery or two to keep you occupied? it certainly has worked for me.

in the morning, as daylight spills over the hills…I am so pleased to be able to peak ’round my floor-length curtains to see my vehicle safely taking up space in front of the house, so no one can park backwards on the wrong side of the street (current teenage craze for some weird reason). of course, having had a surgery, it takes enormous effort to slip back down into my cozy covers to rest from the rigors of the ordeal. likewise, if I sit on the edge of my chair in the office…making sure not to squish the extra hardware inside my body…watching Covid-19 Where are You?…and secretly hoping the next directive is much more exciting than closing bait shops, I have to pace myself, or I will start to nod off toward one of the floor lamps. Mama never said there would be days like this, and I often wonder if Mama ever really had to recover from anything at all. truth is, it is a tough life recovering from surgery.

….but tougher if you have to go in for # 2. and I do not mean surgery of the anus. I mean going through the same kind of procedure again, because, well, they have to go finish the job. finish the job…because someone…someone…neglected to do a thorough enough job years and years ago, so now, it is like a showing of a 4 hour movie….and, well, we just can’t have that. so, I have to go in….again.

this second surgery allows me to be a vegetable…preferably a green leafy one….until about the time when the government has to make more decisions about the pandemic.

Also, TV will be utterly useless during this time as no sport in the world…other than Marbles…and it is questionable who really has theirs…will be playing on the tube. I have already watched The Waterboy more times than my medulla oblongata can take, and I have seen every funny clip from Star Trek, Still Game, Alf, and everything in between. I tend to loathe most television anyway, as watching it causes me to feel like I am eating pop rocks for the brain.

It is highly unlikely that anything apart from the Vitamin C-less Virus will dominate any waking hour of any first world citizen during this planned recovery, so I will gladly find a comfortable den within my blanket-womb to enjoy the rest of March, until my body deems it necessary to return from hibernation.

I can enjoy this lovely little world of microfiber fluff primarily due to the presence of an excusive, technologically advanced bedpan; a ’70’s dinner tray; and a cup holder invented by a super genius. These tasteful items make my long day in bed, alternating between pain medicine and proficient peeing, a pleasant and relatively uneventful blur. As I glance up at the calendar on my door, the days trickle by like a stream that knows no ending…

…and that is why I still look forward to Surgery Procedure # 2, when I will able to glide across the cold hospital floors in my very own surgical steel bed, and wake up later having missed another news conference, another state directive, and another series of criminal activities involving the taking of toilet paper…

 

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