Sunday, February 19, 2023

And It Shall Come To Pass


“Do not give dogs what is holy or cast your pearls before swine; lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” -Matthew 7:6

The “He Gets Us” ads that ran during The Super Bowl (and continue to run) have created quite an uproar.  Spending millions of dollars in an attempt to share a message of love and unity in the name of Jesus may give some of us born again Christians a warm-fuzzy, but it seems to have really upset most everyone else.  As a Christian, I thought the ads were well done and sent a great message.  But, at the same time, I cringed knowing how they would not be well-received by many viewers and, in the end, just become grist for the progressive social media mill.  “Do not give dogs what is holy or cast your pearls before swine.”

A few days before The Super Bowl, a handful of students in Kentucky decided to stick around after the Wednesday night service at the chapel on the Asbury University campus.   They continued to sing and pray and share testimonies.  They confessed sin and vowed repentance.  By all accounts they reached out to God and God showed up.  The Holy Spirit descended upon Wilmore Kentucky and the service continued.  More people showed up and worshipped.  A revival began.  More than a revival, it’s been called an awakening.  People from all over North America and beyond have been traveling to Asbury and experiencing it for themselves.  Something special has happened.  And it’s spreading to other college campuses.  Gen Z has called upon the name of the Lord and He has responded.

The creators of the “He Gets Us” ads are spending over $20M to spread their message.  And I’m sure they mean well and God has taken notice of their faithful and very expensive effort.   The young people at Asbury University just prayed and sang and worshipped and confessed and repented.  God did more than take notice, he joined the celebration.  My dream is that a fire has started in Kentucky and God’s Spirit will not be quenched.   

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;

Your sons and your daughters shall prophecy, your young men shall see visions,

Your old men shall dream dreams.” – Acts 2:17

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Spock Marks

 “I think we should bring up our children with much less pressure to compete and get ahead: no comparing one child with another, at home or in school; no grades.  Let athletics be primarily for fun, and let them be organized by children and youths themselves.” – Dr. Benjamin Spock

When people talk about Dr. Spock these days, they mostly think of the Star Trek character played by Leonard Nimoy.  But those of us who are old enough remember Dr. Benjamin Spock.  In 1946 his book, The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care, was published.  By the end of the millennium his book  had sold over 50 million copies and been translated into 42 languages.  Dr. Spock advocated new ideas about parenting; ideas which at that time were considered radical and definitely out of the mainstream.  Prior to Dr. Spock, the experts recommended what can best be described as “tough love” in order to prepare children for adult life in a harsh demanding world.   Dr. Spock encouraged parents to show their children more affection and consideration.  Allow children to develop as they would and could, not necessarily as they should.


Dr. Benjamin’s Spock’s ideas revolutionized parenting and he is considered one of the most influential figures of the 20th century.   Spock was not the only “expert” advocating new ways of parenting, but he was the most widely read.  His recommendations seeped into our culture.  And Americans were primed for the change.   The Greatest Generation, my parents, had lived through the Depression, the Dust Bowl and WW2.  Now they stood victorious.  The United States was champion of the world.  They would give their children a better life, starting with a happier childhood.


Baby Boomers may talk about the jobs they worked as teenagers, the responsibilities they had and the demands put on them by parents, teachers and coaches.  The reality is that Baby Boomers had it easy compared to their parents and grandparents and those further down the line.  They were the first generation to be put on a pedestal just for being young.   And when a nation allows its course to be set by the preferences and feelings of its children, it is destined to have more chaos and less order. 


A lot of things needed to change in post-WW2 America.  Unregulated industrialization was on a fast track to destroying our environment.   Race and gender discrimination was real and rampant.  In the midst of The Cold War we were encouraged to believe that those who were not fully supportive of U.S. policies and actions were somehow “un-American”, perhaps even “Commies”.   And then there was Vietnam. Change did come and Baby Boomers were right out front waving their fists at institutions and authorities.  Not all Baby Boomers.  Perhaps not even most Baby Boomers.  Nevertheless,  most did embrace the appearance, the politics, the music and the bumper stickers of change.


But a funny thing happened on the way to righting all that was wrong with America.  We began to give up a lot of things that were right about America.  The Cultural Revolution began and most of us didn’t even realize it, at least not at that time.  Looking back now, we can see it.   We tell ourselves that we weren’t actively or intentionally involved. The truth is that a generation of over-indulged, spoiled, entitled Americans danced, drank, smoked, snorted, screwed and divorced their way through the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s before finally settling down to make lots of money and become conservative.


And their children are the worse for it.  Equally spoiled and over-indulged but with less love; going through life without the memory or the stories of challenging times and honorable ways of living.  The grandchildren fare no better, adrift in single parent or multi-parent households, poorly educated and connected by social media to others and a world coming apart.  

Should one wonder at the trends and ideas pervading our culture these days?  Not when one confesses that it began on their watch when they exchanged duty and responsibility for comfort and personal freedom. 

“The 1960’s were about releasing ourselves from conventional society and freeing ourselves.”- Yoko Ono

Saturday, December 31, 2022



I used to make predictions every year.  Covid was such a disruption that I finally just waved the white flag and gave up.  But, now I’m ready to give it one more shot.  The 2023 predictions:

_1 The Ukraine-Russia conflict gets resolved. Probably before the end of March.  Russia gets something out of it and the world agrees that Russia did not lose the war (even if they did.)

_2 With the Ukraine-Russia situation settled world energy markets calm down and the European economy starts a slow recovery.  2023 will not be great and we will have a recession.  But it won’t be very deep nor will it last long.  Inflation eases up.

_3 The 2024 Presidential campaign is in full swing by the second half of the year.  The Democrats are stuck with Biden/Harris and the Republicans try to figure out how to make Trump go away.  I predict Trump does indeed fade out.  Barring a scandal of some sort, DeSantis is the favorite going into 2024.

_4 The Stock Market surges in the second half of 2023.

_5 2023 will be a big year for M&A activity, especially in transportation/logistics and food/grocery.

_6 Georgia repeats as college football national champs. Kansas City wins the Super Bowl.

_7 As evidence mounts that Covid originated in a Chinese lab, the “Covid Story” goes away.  Republicans will push it, but it will be to a dead end.

_8 There will be some Federal response, at last, to the border crisis.  It has become a nasty loose end going into the 2024 elections and the Democrats recognize the need to do something.

_9 The United States, along with other Western industrialized nations, continues to move further to the left on climate, economic and social issues.  Conservatives will object and continue to issue dire warnings.  But the tide has turned and isn’t likely to change until there is some sort of cataclysmic event.

_10 And lastly, I have one prediction that is guaranteed to be correct: Expect the Unexpected. 

"A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both." - Milton Friedman

Saturday, December 24, 2022



2022 has been interesting.  If you like roller-coasters, you may even have enjoyed it. On the Chinese Zodiac calendar 2022 was The Year of The Tiger.  But not just any Tiger.  This was the year of the Water Tiger.  This “water” concept is part the ancient Wuxing philosophy that sees all of creation being subject to the cycle of Five Elements: Wood, Earth, Fire, Metal and Water.  Water is the low point.  It is the most “Yin” of the five elements.  Its motion is downward and inward.  Its energy is stillness and conserving.  Its color is black, its time the night, its light the moon.  It comes from the north and it brings cold.


As a Christian, I take seriously the warnings not to delve too far into such things.  Not because they are not real; but because they are real and come from a place where dark spirits work against God and those created in his image.  I would say those dark spirits have been hard at it in 2022.  The world is in chaos, nations are struggling with inflation and access to reliable, affordable energy.  The shadow of Covid and the fear of what comes next is ever present.  The cultural divide between progressives and conservatives has never been greater.  The basics of civilization are up for grabs.  We can’t agree on energy, food, education, housing, work, sex, gender, marriage, giving birth, dying, law and order, art, literature, humor or even what words are permissible.  Morality is relative and God is whatever one chooses “it” to be or not at all.


Obviously, this didn’t all just start in 2022.  It’s been building up forever, since The Fall or The Beginning, wherever one chooses to plant that stake.  But it has been accelerating and 2022 feels like the bands are about to break.  We can only do so much and we can only take so much.  2023 will be The Year of the Rabbit.  But it’s the Water Rabbit.  So, we are still under water.  I suppose the world can hope it does not get any deeper before we run out of air.


As for me, I will cling to The Faith and look to Jesus.  There is only one Truth.  I know that’s not popular to say these days.  But it doesn’t make it any less so.  2000 years ago, God became one of us in order to save us from the dark powers of this world.  Those powers do not want us to believe that.  But it doesn’t change the facts of the matter.  In the end, all of the elements, including Wood, Earth, Fire, Metal and Water will be consumed and replaced by a New Heaven and a New Earth.  The lion and lamb will lie down together as will the tiger and the rabbit.  And there will be Peace.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

We Will Run Again


I walk my dog most days.  Usually we walk the fields, but when it’s too wet we take to the pavement.  Barney is a two-year old English Springer Spaniel.  We often call him Barney Two or B2.  We had another Springer named Barney but that was years ago, a different time and many different places.


When Barney One was with us I could still run.  We ran many miles together.  And when we lived in Montana, he would go up into the mountains with me.  I would let him off the leash.  But he never ventured too far away and would come running back when I called him.  I always worried that he would run into a mountain lion someday or maybe even a bear.  But he loved being off the leash whenever possible.  So, I let him run.


But the years and a bad knee have ended my running days.  The bad knee has been replaced, but I’m a big guy and the doctor said it would be best if I did not run on it.  I might run if I was being chased or in an emergency.  But for exercise it’s down to walking.  With some recent back problems, even the walking is not what it used to be.  I reckon it’s not more than 3 mph and sometimes less.  Barney Two loves the walks, but I know he wants to run or at least walk faster.  It’s taken a lot of hard tugs and hard words to make him quit pulling.  But when something excites him, he still wants to take off.


At times during our walks he looks back at me as if to ask “Is this the best you can do?  Can’t we just pick up the pace a little bit?”  I think he somehow knows that once upon a time I could do better.  When we show him old photos of Barney One, I wonder if he knows that we ran together, that I wasn’t always old and slow.  


We have a large fenced back yard and Barney will run the fence line barking at birds in the field or squirrels in the trees.  Sometimes when I go out in the yard, he will run up and jump as if to say, c’mon let’s run.  It feels great.  Then he will stop and just stand there waiting for a hug because he knows that’s the best I can do until it’s time for our walk.  But as I hug him, I always tell him that someday I will run again and that he and Barney One will be running with me.  Just not today.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Not The Same Game


If Conservatives want to win more elections they must play a different game than their Progressive opponents.  Red meat rallies and attacks on Progressive ideologies, institutions or leaders will only be turned around and used against them.  When conservatives go after Progressives, it becomes hate speech, or it is somehow inciting violence; or it’s racist or homophobic or misogynistic.  In the end it becomes a threat to Democracy. 


On the other hand, when Progressives start calling out Conservatives; it’s filtered as main-stream news, fodder for talk shows, a skit on SNL or receives a  tweet storm of approval.   We just need to accept that Progressive criticism of those on the Right is mostly considered accurate, constructive, relevant and moral.  But that’s not how it works in the other direction.


Conservatives are forced to play a different game.  Essentially offer positive solutions to the problems most people are facing without blaming, shaming or finger-pointing at those mostly responsible for the problems in the first place.  Better yet take some responsibility for the problems and apologize.  Seriously, just say you’re sorry.


The playing field is not level.  Don’t feed the narrative.  Play nice and don’t make it personal.  The other side has already made up their minds about you…don’t keep reminding them. 

Monday, October 31, 2022

What Matters Most...


Early voting has begun in what might be one of the most contentious mid-term elections since the last one....and the one before that one...and the one before...I’ll stop there.  In all honesty, this might be the most contentious mid-term election ever.  It’s just where we are these days.  Divided on so many fundamental issues that there seems to be no middle ground left to stand on. 

So who wins and who loses?  It all depends on what matters most to the most people.  And that depends on who is voting. And it will look a lot different in “blue” states than in “red” states.  Even within those colors, the voting will vary by county and region.  Even Texas is starting to increasingly reflect shades of blue.  Winning and losing in today’s divided nation comes down to the margins.  Which side can control the House and Senate.  In Presidential elections and close Senate races it can come down to a few key counties in a few key states that determine the outcome. 

Both parties can rely on their solid cores.  The Democrats traditionally struggle with turnout, but they’ve done a better job since Trump’s big upset win in 2016.  The blue core is going to vote.  The Republican core will always turn out.  But demographics are working against them.  Republicans must convert independents as well as members of traditional Democratic “identity” groups such as Latinos.  Even some Blacks are starting to lean right, but for the most part they are going to vote Democrat.

So what moves the needle for those voters who are not “hardcore” in either camp?  The Democrats are banking on Abortion rights and lingering anti-Trump sentiment to motivate independents to vote Democrat.  Gun Control, Climate Change, Diversity-Equity-Inclusion issues are foundational to hardcore Democrats.  But it’s Abortion and Anti-Trumpism that really matter at the margins.

Republicans must push the buttons on inflation, crime and kids while creating some distance from Trumpism.  Border security tends to be more of a regional issue, important but not so much for the majority of independent voters.   The number one pain point for most people is inflation.  That should be a winner for the Republicans.  Not because their hands are clean on the issue, but because the Democrats have really lost control of the economy. 

Crime is a clear winner for Republicans.  People are just fed up with the surge in criminal activity.  The Democrats have earned their reputation for being soft on crime and it will be a major factor for independents. 

And with kids, it’s about education vs indoctrination and a growing awareness that something is “off” in the way kids are being taught and what they are being taught.  Parents of all races, ethnicity and religious backgrounds are pushing back on CRT and progressive gender/sexuality ideologies being taught to their children.

But, Republicans must not underestimate the impact of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling that essentially pushed the abortion issue back to the States.  And with many Red States passing extremely restrictive abortion legislation, this has become a rallying point for women including many in the center who might otherwise be inclined to vote Republican.

And then there is Trumpism.  Outside of his hardcore followers, one finds very little support for Trump even within the Republican party, much less among independents.  At some point, Republican leadership must rip the band-aid off and be done with Trump once and for all.  Even if it means the Trumpers start a third party movement and cripple the Republican party in the near term.  A Republican Party that allows itself to remain hostage to Trumpism cannot survive. 

In a two-party system both parties must remain viable.  The Democrats are allowing far left Progressives to push them into a 30-40% support corner from which they can only win if there is no better alternative for moderate, middle of the road voters.  Now the big question is which is the lesser of two evils?  Far Left Progressivism or Far Right Trump Nationalism?  If those are the only two options, The Left has the advantage.  They are standing on the moral high ground of our postmodern secular culture when it comes to women’s reproductive rights, social justice for the “marginalized” and fighting against The Fascists (aka Trumpers).  

These mid-term elections are likely to determine the direction of both parties for at least the next ten years.  If there is a “Red Wave”, Trump will claim much of the credit.  He will either be the Presidential candidate in 2024 or determine who will be.  If the Democrats can find a viable candidate, they will win the White house. 

However, if the Democrats were to do better than projected and the Republicans finally realize that Trump is more of a liability than an asset, it might trigger a major shift for the party.  Two more years of Progressive policies and chaos would almost certainly open the door for sweeping changes in 2024. A more moderate, inclusive Republican Party would likely win the White House as well as seize control of both the House and the Senate.   

We will soon see how this all plays out.  It should be interesting, even if it's only more of the same.

“Politicians are like bad horsemen who are so preoccupied with staying in the saddle that they can’t bother about where they are going.” – Joseph Schumpeter