Ignorance Isn’t Bliss

Ignorance doesn’t mean stupid. It is lacking knowledge regarding a topic(s). Most of my ignorance has come from sloth or procrastination. Either I have been too lazy to read up on a topic or knowing that doing so can be tedious, having to read pros and cons about the subject.

I once believed everything the nightly news said. The networks competed to find the most convincing individuals as anchors, and they were successful. I discovered the more I watched and believed news morning, noon, and night, I became lazier and stopped reading, or quit stopping by the library to research, and to look up info about something I heard on the news about that did not sound right.

What I discovered was shocking. To think that my favorite anchors were not telling the truth? Though bliss I experienced from trusting the news kept me ignorant, I discovered TV talk shows, sitcoms, dramas, even kids shows were pressing an agenda! The agenda? “What could it be, I thought?” (That discovery was in the 1980’s).


The agenda is what we all see playing out today. It is a tragedy to watch socialism crawl into any nation, but I cannot believe the USA has over half of it’s citizen’s ignorantly falling prey to a system that has never worked and never will. How can we not see Venezuela’s march from being prosperous into total ruin over the past decade?

I won’t go on, but I will fight this out. God has the final say about the election, and I plan to return to posting if possible. I hope to continue posting about addictions, but I can see how this evil agenda has fueled drug and alcohol addiction, and what they hoped to gain from doing so. Stay tuned.

A Nation Divided

I get miffed watching politicians teamed with nightly news literally tearing our nation apart. The issues we think are causing the division are not at the root of what will end horribly bad. It has to be for every individual to take an honest look, a deeper look, at what drives this division. That means stop listening to who says what that you agree so much with, and listen to the other side without judgment. I know that is hard to do. And chances are extremely good you will feel the same as you do now.

I believe people today are easily led by their traditional trust in their party. One side insists they are the working man’s party, but you cannot prove it by looking at their history, certainly not the direction they are going. The other party can easily say they are for all people, but their methodology of proving their point is obscure to say the least. Lacking empathy in their tact-less speech in the past did that party harm winning converts to their cause. Today, both parties try to out smart-mouth the other. It really sounds like school kids fighting, “AM NOT! ARE TOO!” And the media stirs the pot of anger daily.

FYI, the media is losing the trust of the people, as many projected after the last election. They did, at first, following the Presidential election, admit they really needed to change their ways to re-gain trust. But they could not resist being able to report what their party, (yes there is bias), was attempting to do, or undo, the election results. The other side couldn’t stay out of the fight having to defend the winner. (My memory of the President’s party not standing behind him at first is vivid. That changed.

Finally, we had someone stood up to all of the politicians, that had given in to other governments, out of fear, or out losing payoffs under the table as many believe. Undoing the Iran non-deal, adding more sanctions for non-compliance to nations tyrannically led, holding money back from Palestinians for their violent outbursts against Israel, and last but not least, the Great Wall of Texico. The President has some blame, tweeting, fanning the flame. But his non presidential sounding speeches are fine by me. I’m tired of people trying to sound like they think people want them to sound, if that makes sense.

Keeping legitimate folks out is not the reason we are told. But it does, and the reasons don’t matter to those opposed to the wall. It should matter to the working man. All I have been hearing from the working man is “they are taking our jobs!” But they still vote for the party that is all for illegals entering the country and receiving benefits they cannot get without paying for. Strange. I am certainly not against immigration, but it has to follow the rule of law. If we are going to not have the rule of law, then it is time for the gun control advocates to hold their piece… literally.

I want Americans to stop fighting like Christian sects over small issues that don’t matter. I want Americans to stop listening to nightly news and daytime panels who are totally not qualified to campaign for any party, or be personal psychologists for families. I know, I can want for a lot of things but at the top of my “want” list is that we are united as a people and we learn to make our choices on who and what we believe by our own research and guided by values. We can stop telling our military thank you for your service if we are bent on letting politicians and media undo what so many fought and died for.

Get In, Get Out, or Take a Seat

So I sidelined myself for a bit. I had good reasons. After all I am a busy man and I don’t believe what I write has had much, if any effect on others. Am I whining? Yep, a regular cry baby. Seriously, I have felt this inward tug to get back at it on a regular basis in hope of winning some to the Kingdom of Christ, or helping some find sobriety, both through these simple writings.

It really comes down to this. I watched the movie Tombstone several times. I am a dialog guy and a guy that likes to see good win out over evil. Are you like that? The OK Corral scene, Wyatt Earp dodging bullets yells at the cowardly Ike Stanton and blares, “GET IN THE FIGHT OR GET OUT OF THE WAY! I remembered this scene and now see my own cowardice in not getting in this war we are fighting much sooner.  I hate to offend after all.  You may be unaware we are fighting, or there is even a war in the first place. Here’s the field of battle:

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against the spiritual host of wickedness in the heavenly places….Eph. 6:12

It’s brutal out there as some of you know from what is going on with the mud pie fights the dems and reps are having, while issues go ignored, i.e. healthcare, the infrastructure, addicts found dead daily. Don’t choose to hate either side, but pray for them with sincerity. Or refuse to pray for them from your intense hatred of them. I’d bet you probably didn’t vote anyway, now you can hate me too…have a seat please.

Others say, you’re nuts! You honestly believe there are forces controlling events? It’s that lying President, or it’s those liberal lefties. Whatever, take a seat next to the intense haters, I ‘ll get with you later. And keep your hands to yourself.

Now those ready to do battle, gird your loins. Don’t hold on to any grudges of any kind. Pray for opposition you face in life. 1 Tim 2:1-2 gives you an idea of who we should pray for, and we already know to pray for our personal needs and the innumerable requests on social media. Speaking of media, man, do they need prayer. They have more to do with our national division that any political branch. Anyhow lets fight this spiritual warfare boldly, in confidence and knowing the time is short. Thanks!

Letting Go

A woman’s son had taken her to the point of bankruptcy with his constant drug use, legal troubles from arrests, and not working. When he was jailed she made sure he had money on his book for food and necessities. She ignored what she was told about enabling her son’s bad behavior. “I love my son, I just can’t let him go hungry, be homeless, what kind of a parent would I be?”

She finally had to surrender and told her son he was not welcome back home until he had a job and was clean and sober. She made this hard decision knowing she may never see her son again, he may die alone, freeze to death, or even starve! But she would lose her home if he stayed and continued doing nothing other than sponging off of her. She feared finding him dead in their home.

For five years she never heard from Him. She was heart-broken, fearing the worst but continued to pray to God in hope for his safety and recovery.

Then one day her son walked in the door, clean and sober, had his own place to live and a job! He had also found Christ and was in the ministry!

She had finally let go and let God. There is hope when we make the decision to trust Him. Luther said, “I’ve held many things in my hands and lost them all. But those things I placed in God’s hands I still have.”

I hope this little true story helps parents who don’t know how to let go. I certainly know it is hard. Pray, give the care of your child into His hands, or as one man said, “Pray and let God worry.”

The Gateway

The mountain of hurts experienced from others throughout your lifetime has likely left you with some deep scars. Some are quick to say they not holding a grudge or resentments from abuse or being mistreated by others. Their words, however, are proof they are still nursing the wounds, even to the extreme, medicating the pain. Like one lady said regarding a friend who hurt her deeply;
  “Oh yes, I forgave her alright, but let me tell you what that old devil did to me!”

What about the mountain of hurt you may have inflicted on others? It is, to me, more painful knowing I hurt or let others down. Now I have to ask their forgiveness, but also I have to forgive myself. That is much more difficult to do. I mean, I have to forgive myself or live with regrets rueing over my bad behaviors until remorse sets up fortress inside my heart. And it can, and does. At one time I didn’t care, let em’ think what they think of me, it’s their problem. I was very sick back then.

  “To err is human, to forgive divine.”  Alexander Pope
“Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Jesus

I believe the gateway to forgiveness is gratitude. I have discovered from my alcoholic past that being grateful for sobriety opened my spiritual eyes to see my fallen nature ruled me, thinking I was entitled to having everything, including my own way. When I didn’t get what I wanted, I became ungrateful for what I did have. I became envious of others success. I became angry at my job for not getting a promotion, and jealous even at my church for their blindness to my hard work for God… (oh what a baby). My solution, the bar stool and ears to agree with my whining.

 “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” G.K. Chesterton
“When I started counting my blessings my whole life turned around.” Willie Nelson

When grateful, color seems to enter the world, sounds are heard, handshakes and embraces are sincere, suddenly purpose comes into play, and empathy becomes the heart mate of hope and love. Seeing those who hurt me, including myself in the mirror, as broken by life, poor upbringing, etc., with an understanding that only God’s Spirit within could give me. I also feel pressed to ask forgiveness to those I hurt. I am truly thankful for my awakening to the gateway of gratitude.

Well, tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. I hope you can take the time to be grateful for what you have. A life of gratitude is the gateway to forgiveness, and the mother of all virtue.

Disregarded Help

I don’t know the number of times I made snap decisions over important matters in life. The number heavily outweighs how often I sought counsel from others, or more importantly, inquired of the Lord for direction. I am asked by some I work with in recovery, “what is your favorite verse in the Bible?” I have several verses that I may quote, but one stands out to me most often is Psalm 119:130:

The entrance of Your word gives light, it gives understanding to the simple.

This being a favorite causes me to ask myself, “why don’t you try referring to this verse when you make decisions?” This verse doesn’t help me make a right decision within itself. I makes me aware to seek the scriptures for counsel, where I find help and great advice for any situation in life, like:

Where there is no counsel the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. Pr.11:14

Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates instruction is stupid. Pr.12:1

What I see from these verses and scores of others is, get instruction, take advice, don’t be wise in your own eyes, pray and wait on the answer! Do I like pain? I must because I do not ask advice often, people may think I’m spiritually stupid after all. Well, why don’t I pray? Because God will make me wait and I don’t want to wait, I want the answer now so I will make the choice and God will bless it because He loves me, I’m His child. Wrong!

You know the old hymn’s words:

Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear. All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer. (What a friend we have in Jesus).

I want to do what I counsel others to do, inquire of the Lord on every decision, look to the scripture, get wisdom from others by asking for help. It is true God loves me, I’m His kid. His love allows me to face the consequences of bad decisions, even though He could fix my goof-ups. Pain from those bad choices causes me to not do that again, I can see to repent, go the other direction, toward His counsel.

God doesn’t enable my bad behaviors. He isn’t a celestial Santa either, giving me my wants. My needs, however, He supplies to His glory and my good. I need humility and patience.

Thanks, I hope you can identify. Blessings to you all.

Resolutions for the New Year

In the past I made, like so many do, annual resolutions. They would begin to come together right after the Thanksgiving Day feeding frenzy. My aims were always based on becoming someone other than… well, me. It was my annual self loathing and desires for others to see my value as a person, you know, be admired. Resolutions, as I reflect back, should have been named, “planned failures for the upcoming year.” I failed annually, which gave me the loser complex, helping me fail at other ambitions as well.

Today I have a clearer view as to why the many failures. No resolve, no plans on the how to, no book on Resolutions for Dummies. The understanding came to me slowly, but it did come as I came into recovery from alcoholism. “The best I could be is out of me,” I learned in AA meetings. Those past me-gotistical aims I once had each year were about me getting what I wanted. Today helping others get what they need and want is more satisfying, far above personal gain.

I still want to improve annually, but now to improve my serve, putting God, then others ahead of yours truly. I don’t want that to sound like I’m such a swell person, (that false humility garbage). Humiliation from my past taught me real humility which I must continue to work on. That opened my eyes to discover serving is far more valuable than being unique and being admired.

I do want to become better in 2019. I want to be a better husband, father, friend, worker, helper to those still suffering with addictions. That takes me to look for the know-how to hit those noble goals. Honesty, loyalty, kindness, courage, diligence, are virtues to strive for, under-girding me to accomplish those resolutions. But more importantly I must Trust God, continue to help others, and keep my side of the street clean. Prayer daily, even day-long prayer is key to the success and discovery of the above virtues.

God is faithful as you and I aim above all else to please Him. He then gives us a purpose and passion to improve ourselves and experience wonder, which is far greater than personal desires.

I’ll finish this post with thoughts we could seriously consider as resolutions for 2019:
Choose patriotism over political parties.
Choose friendship over isolation.
Choose to know for yourself about everything, not what someone told you.
Choose carefully who you admire, admire values above things.
Choose to be a part of something worthwhile, then you won’t fall apart.

Blessings to all for 2019… far beyond happiness that fades!

Dear Younger Me

I wanted to share this short poem written by a man I met recently. He is one of the fortunate ones, still alive and by God’s grace recovering in a rehab facility. I hope you take a moment and read his heartfelt words to his younger self and his promise to Jesus, his Savior, to finish his life well in Christ’s service.

Dear younger me
I did not see,
What my whole life
Was meant to be.

All the heartache
All the pain,
The guilt and hurt
And all the shame.

The things I did were all in vain,
All wasted now yet I remain.
So I can see my purpose now,
To You Lord Jesus I will bow.

Now I see what I’m to do;
Just follow You, only You.
You will lead me down a path,
Help me to forget my past.

I will tell them of Your love,
And of forgiveness from above.
Thank You Lord for saving me,
What You have done to make me free.

Your true love and sacrifice
Has given me a better life.

Kevin Long

What If?

I think about this question every year, so I thought it good to ask you, the reader to think about and answer if you wish. Give it thought, serious thought. See if you know how much our world has been affected by Advent.

What if Christ never came into the world; what would the holiday season be like?

My thoughts:
There would be any holiday season for one. That means any Santa, Christmas carols, family gatherings, school “winter celebrations,” no shopping or gift giving. There would be no paid days off, no football Christmas Day, no big meal other than the normal daily dinner.

If Jesus had not come to redeem mankind, wipe the slate of our sins clean with the shedding of his blood, there would also be no Easter either. There would be no ACLU fighting to remove religious artifacts from stores, or secular judges ruling that the displaying of the manger scene is unconstitutional, citing the separation of church and state, (which, by the way, does not appear in the constitution).

The words, “do unto others”…would have never been heard, as well as, “For God so loved the world”…and “judge not, lest you be judged.”

What else? How about anytime since the church of Jesus began, the flood of giving aid to victims of disasters? How would education be affected? Slavery? The arts? Literature? Science? Invention? Even Christians have no idea how Christ’s birth affected these.

Think about that as we all enjoy the blessings and benefits of His atoning grace this season. And just so you know…there is more, much, much more.

Remember Not to Forget

This year Memorial Day seems more real to me than in times past. Perhaps the reason is personal research regarding twentieth century events, and watching the American Heroes Channel whenever docs on war are on the tube. In every conflict throughout the twentieth century, more lives were lost that in all known wars on record.

I honor every person who has served our country and lost their lives, and those who served at all as well. God bless their memory, may their sacrifice never be forgotten.

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.
Winston Churchill

I have this foreboding sense of days to come and potential looming wars to come. Anger and hatred are newsworthy, networks or media from various sources bombard us with possibilities of conflict, their escalation daily. Within our nation there are conflicts just shy of turning deadly violent, but not portrayed as such. We really learned zero from history though warned not to do so.I believe pride has told us we are too smart to repeat historical mistakes, which I believe is laughable.

Keep the memory of the fallen alive by refusing to allow politicians and leaders at any level to stop giving away guaranteed rights our men and women gave their life for. Freedoms are in jeopardy, mainly, religious freedoms, freedom to bear arms, not to forget freedom of speech, which seems only to apply to the press anymore. The rest of us must be politically correct not offend anyone.

We seem to drop all of our differences and prejudices in times of national threats, i. e. 9/11/2001. We come together across multicultural lines as Americans, grieving lost American lives, you know, our family. I would love to see that togetherness thrive in our country, but I don’t foresee that ever happening.

Politicians, ethnic leaders, and media outlets are determined to keep unity at bay, increase their personal power, fanning the flame of discord without impunity. I believe their speech doesn’t match their actions, they want us to forget those who lost their lives for freedoms they freely give away, pointing out opposition’s faults to conceal their own.

Globally speaking, there are many conflicts alive and well. This is not a surprise however. Foretold a couple thousand years ago:
Jesus, questioned by his disciples about the times of the end said, “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation shal rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places”…. Matt.24:6-7

World-wide conflicts have always been. Yet from the twentieth century until now, never has so many soldiers and civilians died from such. Through in ethnic, political, and religious purging by Mao, Stalin, the killing fields of southern Asia, etc. The numbers are incredible. don’t forget to remember, not just on memorial day, but when you pray, when you vote.

Now, how do you say this…Happy memorial day? Have a nice holiday? How about REMEMBER.