Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Thank God It's Over...

Today is the day we kick 2013 into the horizon and look forward to a better year in 2014.  I'm sure a lot of people can relate to the song I posted...

For a lot of my friends (live in person and friends I know through the Interwebs), 2013 was a completely sucky year.

For my church, 2013 was a year of transition as we welcomed not only a new senior minister, but the children's and youth ministers as well.  And I started to get more involved in the church as I am one of the sound techs.

I think a lot of us can pick one particular stand out benchmark moment for this year.  For me, it would definitely be the weekend a group of us from church went to Moore to help out with the tornado relief.  Just looking at all the devastation and some of the rebuilding (at that time) that had gone on...jaw dropping, life changing to say the least.

Here's to 2014 being a better year spiritually, physically, emotionally...and probably financially too!!!


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Dreaming with my eyes wide open...

Do you ever have one of those dreams where you wake up from it like "Oh dear God, please don't let this happen"?   I just had one and "oh God..."

Here's the scenario...

I'm at church sitting in my Sunday School class.  The way our classroom is set up is there are five tables around the room...if you're looking at it from where the teacher stands, there are two tables on your left, one in the center and two tables on the right.  I usually sit at the center table because 1) that's usually the first place I park when I get there and 2) I can hear the teacher.   Anyway, he usually goes around the room from table to table asking for prayer requests and/or praise reports from all of us seated at the various tables.  He comes to the table where I am sitting and I go to start speaking, and....

Mouth is open, but no sound coming out of it.    I try again, nothing.  I try a third time.  Finally, I have this deer in the headlights look like "Oh God...what's going on".   Someone in the room immediately recognizes that I am having some sort of stroke so they whisk me across to the hospital.  And someone did have the presence of mind to go get Mom and Dad and let them know what was going on.

It's one of those dreams where I don't know if it was a warning to prepare me or one of those "scare tactics" that the devil likes to throw out there on occasion.  Whatever it is, I just pray that that doesn't happen, especially if it is that specific...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Reaching for the Right Words...

As we all know, God has a way of blessing people in ways that would totally blow the human mind out of the water...and bring people into your life that you would least expect, including long lost family members. A prime example would be the person that we just lost yesterday -- my Aunt Betty.

I mentioned this briefly, but here's a little more background on what I mentioned in my post about the newspaper ad that brought my Aunt Betty and my Mom together again.

I was in the 4th grade and my sister was just a baby.  We were living on North 6th at the time in a house we affectionately called "The Butterfly House" (don't go try to go looking for it today...it's been long since torn down and now just a vacant lot).  Anyway, a relative of ours in OKC had gotten the paper and something wasn't quite right.  If you've ever gotten the paper delivered to your house, the front section is always the section that shows.  This particular day, the classifieds were out front (maybe the carrier was led by the Lord to do it that particular way -- we may never know the reasoning but other to say it was God). It was then given to my grandparents who eventually got it to Mom and Dad after much deliberation. There was a particular ad that caught our eye.  It was needing some information on siblings that this particular person was looking for and gave a number to call -- a 276 prefix which is in the community of Burneyville in southern Oklahoma, other than maybe Thackerville it's the closest you can get to the Red River without actually going into the river.  Mom and Dad got to investigating and turned out, Aunt Betty had placed the ad in The Oklahoman and was looking for her other sisters who were all adopted out.  As you know, my Mom and Aunt Marsha were adopted by my grandparents Ray and Goldie Tucker and one other sister was sent to an unknown location.  1981 was the first time in several years that my Aunt Betty and my Mom had seen each other since they were children.  She brought her family up and visited for a weekend and a few months later we reciprocated and went down to her neck of the woods.

Putting the last 30+ years of remembering and reminiscing about someone like my Aunt Betty into words is unfathomable.  From all the good things that happened (her sons graduating HS, marrying and having their kids and everything) to the sad things including yesterday, it's just hard to comprehend it.  But I'm glad that God put this all together so we can remember a wonderful wife/mother/grandmother/sister/aunt like Betty (Jerri) Burton.

Rest in Peace Aunt Betty.  We love you and will miss you!!!

Editor's note:  Thanks to my mother for fact-checking this post.  I wasn't clear on some things so she corrected me on what I got wrong.  Thanks Mom!!!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Mirror Mirror on the Wall...

Apparently my brain did not want me to go to sleep unless I added "My 2 Cents" on the whole "government shutdown" thing...so here it goes...

Yes, people are pointing fingers and blaming the other side for this shutdown,  acting like a bunch of spoiled children who don't get their way when they are told they can't have a certain item (candy, toy, etc.)  My niece and nephew are better behaved than these numbnutseses...and they're 5 and 3.

I am of the thinking here (and the opinion expressed here is mine and only mine, not influenced by Beck or Limbaugh or whoever) that if someone is to blame for all this...we should look at ourselves in the mirror.  We voted these goofballs in there...they told us what they would do if we elected them and we were like "ok" like a bunch of dunces.  And I've noticed that while nobody that I know of on the state and local level act like this, it's become apparent that the national Democrats have acted more and more like their mascot. Not pointing fingers, just stating an opinion.  I know, you're going to pop up "Well, Rob...some of the conservatives aren't that much better."  True...hence the acronym RINO (Republican in Name Only).

We've got pretty much a whole year to commit this to memory until the next election cycle.  I'm sure there will be a lot of us that will keep this in mind when we go to select who our next Congressman or Senator will be that will probably have to take up this issue next year....and pray that we don't make the same mistake as we did last time when we voted these knuckleheads in.  

OK, brain...now that I've said my piece, will you shut up and let me sleep?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Call me "Old Fashioned", but...

I wanted to elaborate on something I wrote on Twitter earlier today.
It said this…
Random thought:  Saddens me that work ethics/values that we were taught as youngsters are now considered “old fashioned”.
Those of you who follow me who are probably over the age of 18 can relate to this.  We were taught that if we wanted something (vehicle, computer, etc.) we had to bust our ass and work for it.  Yeah, the parents and grandparents if you were so blessed to have them around would help you out if you needed it but mostly, they told you to save your money, work hard, (if you were raised in a faith-based home) know how much you give to the Lord in tithes and so on.
Apparently, according to some people we were taught wrong.  Now a days, the thinking is if you pitch enough of a fit and (as I’ve heard it said growing up), “squal, bawl and sling snot from ear to ear” you’ll get what you want. You may not appreciate it, but you’ll get it.
Has anybody else come across this?  Cause I don’t about my brother and sister, but I don’t want to be telling tales out of school on what I’ve been taught all my life.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Back to School 2013...

As to avoid confusion with the title...I am not going back to school!  I am just relaying some thoughts as we begin another school year here in Western Oklahoma.

I realize that public school in 2013 is hundreds of times different than how school was back when I was a youngun all those years ago.  The worst that you could get in trouble for "back in my day" was oh say, not bringing enough gum for the rest of the class and having to spit your gum out...in front of everybody, or not stop talking when the teacher was talking.  Nowadays, I don't even want to go that route...

Back when I was a youngun, school lunches were still nutritious (I know, that can be up for debate), but you didn't have a major league worry on who's allergic to what and what you can or can't fix...unlike today where if you don't have this much of fruits and veggies and this much of this item and watch the fat content, you could face heavy penalties.  And for the most part, you didn't have to worry about kids getting big because we usually ran it off on the playground anyway.

One thing that I know will stand the test of time is kids picking on other kids for what they don't wear, what their social status is and so on...I've mentioned it a few times in my blog entries so you know that this is a problem that is not going to automatically go on the back burner.  You only need to turn on the news or walk the halls to find out what I mean.  Actually, now you can't walk the halls without checking in to the office and stating what your intent is -- guess that's always been the case, but after all the school shootings it's emphasized even more.

But anyway, all that to say this...to the kids starting back this week:  your teachers may not be "with it", but they are doing the best they can to make sure you have a great education so you can turn around and apply that to the next generation of littleuns. (yes, I realized that's not good grammar...I'm not writing this for a grade) Show respect to your teachers and to your fellow students.  Trust me, you'll have good friendships that last long after the final note of "Pomp and Circumstance" is played at your HS graduation.

Also...I know this is considered "taboo" but I'm going to say it anyway. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and don't lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your steps." (Proverbs 3:5,6)

Everyone have a great year...and GO REDS!!!!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

I am the Church, You are the Church, We are the Church Together...

I know, this blog goes all over the place.  Last time I talked about sports talk radio.  This time around, I'm talking about church.  Like I stated when I first started this, it's about anything and everything and what I can basically write about without getting into trouble.  So bear with me for a few minutes...

For the past several Sundays this summer, I have been reminded about what the Church is.  A little backstory on me...I've been basically raised in church.  I was about 8 yrs old when I understood how Jesus took our sins and died on the cross so that we could be His Sons and Daughters.  It's just taken me basically 30+ years to retrain my brain from all the "interesting" teachings I have heard over the years.

My family is basically the Heinz 57 of Christianity.  My maternal grandmother was very staunch Church of Christ, my Grandpa was Pentecostal Holiness before he married Grandma, My Dad and his family were raised Lutheran...we were in the non-denominational/Full Gospel/Charismatic/whatever circles for many years...I've spent a little time in Baptist and Church of God (Cleveland, TN) congregations just to name a few.

And I've been burned by a few people too over the years...but not physically.  It was from people who were what I like to call "so spiritual they are no earthly good", who thought their droppings brought forth a pleasant odor (to keep it PG-rated) and who force-fed their doctrine down your throat like it was Grandma's cure-all Castor Oil.  Every time I thought I was in a congregation where I was comfortable, God would be like "uhhh, Rob.  That's not where I want you."

Now I'm in a place where I know I feel safe.  From the first Sunday I stepped in at First Christian Church, everyone has been very welcoming and very friendly (the fact that a lot of people in the community knew me from school/Chamber/Radio probably helped to that effect).  Even after the transition from Doyle Kinney to Jeff McDowell, there has not been one Sunday that I've attended (outside of that month where I was in Little Rock) where there's been any tension.  Yes, I've had someone ask me why I would go there and tell me that I should go back to the former congregation I was at, but last I checked it was Christ that died for me and it's God Almighty that I worship, not "Sister Snoopy".

I titled this particular blog after a little song I learned several years ago "I am the Church, you are the Church, we are the Church together", because the early Church, the Church that is talked about in Acts is an "ecclesia", a movement...it's not the big brick building on the corner of 28th and Custer with a steeple on it.  It's people like you and me, united in one accord worshipping our Savior and thanking Him for all He has done for us. Church is going out to help those whose lives were shaken in the tornadoes in Moore a couple of months ago.  Church is ministering to that person sitting in lockup at the County Jail waiting to be sent to Big Mac or to wherever the State of Oklahoma feels they should go to "pay their debt to society".  Church is reaching out to the "town drunk" and seeing his life dramatically turn around and serving God.  I could go on, but I'm called to do another ministry...picking up after the dog. :)

Until next time....

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Five and a Half Stations...

Hey there everybody.  Welcome to this edition of Rob's Rants and Raves...

What am I rantin' on this time?  Well...

The big news this past week was that Oklahoma City was getting a new Sports/Talk station to hopefully take a swipe at the Sports Animal audience, much like what Fox Sports 1 wants to do to ESPN when they debut on Aug. 17th.  The sports/talk station will be where KRXO is currently at 107.7 FM, where the classic rock that's been KRXO's staple for as long as I remember will move to a much smaller (250w) signal on 104.5 (small as in not to interfere with the big signal of Z104.5 The Edge in Tulsa).

In an article by Mel Bracht of The Oklahoman, which also used a news release from KRXO owner Tyler Media, the new station on 107.7 would bring the total number of stations in the OKC market to six.  Who are the other four, outside of WWLS The Sports Animal (which simulcasts on KADS -- Elk City, btw)?

The market's other sports stations are:
WWLS-FM 98.1, “The Sports Animal.” 
KWPN AM 640, ESPN Radio.
KREF-AM 1400, “Sports Talk 1400,” of Norman. 
KGHM-AM 1340, “The Game,” 
KINB-FM "105.3, The Pro," CBS Sports Radio,

Now why do I say that these are 5 and a half stations?  From radio-locator.com, here are the wattage of the stations:

KWPN (ESPN 640):  5000 watts Daytime/1000 watts Nighttime Directional (basically to avoid interference from another station on the same frequency) 

WWLS The Sports Animal: 28,870 watts Effective Radiated Power

KRXO 107.7:  92,000 watts ERP

KREF 1400 AM:  1000 watts Non-Directional

KGHM 1340 AM (The Game):  1000 watts Non-Directional

ok...who's the half station in my opinion?

KINB 105.3 The Pro:  930 watts ERP (granted the CoL is Kingfisher, but the signal is basically a duck fart into OKC)

Again, radio-locator.com has all the info as far as coverage maps and everything...but hopefully you see where I am getting at.  All the other stations have a pretty good coverage area...I can get 3 of the 4 stations here in Western Oklahoma (that's without the KADS simulcast and finding the on-line stream on iHeart Radio or whatever).  But as far as getting KREF and KGHM goes, not really.

KGHM on 1340 is covered up by NewsTalk KCLI here in Clinton on 1320.  KREF on 1400 is covered by KTJS in Hobart on 1420.

If "The Pro" wants to make any kind of impact in being a player in OKC sports radio listenership, they should swap the 105.3 frequency with 105.7 (one-half of OU's NPR station with 1600 watts ERP).  Yes I realize they are a full CBS Sports Radio affiliate station, but still...if you live in Shawnee and want to "have a take, don't suck" on Jim Rome's show you should be able to without having to strain a hamstring just to get a damn signal.

I've always stated that Western Oklahoma should have another FM sports/talk out here, but I don't think the "distinguished" State Rep. Harold Wright or any of the underlings on Coyote Hill would be open to that.

Anyway, I've ranted on my soapbox long enough.  Yes, I did make sure Mel Bracht, The Oklahoman (NewsOK.com), Radio-locator.com got referenced and h/t'd for this piece.

Until next time, so long and God bless.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Tornado Relief thoughts...

We are His Hands...We are His Feet
We are His People...Children of the Lord
We share the hope...We share the dream
Believers in Jesus...Children of the King

-- "We are His Hands" -- WhiteHeart

I guess you would say this weekend I went on a missions trip, but didn't have to wait a long time to get a passport, didn't have to have a laundry list of shots and bother with government red tape BS.

As you know, for the past couple of days I went with a group from my church to help in the relief effort in Moore.  And yes, even though the national cameras have left and gone to cover other stories, you still see some reports of people coming to help on the local news here in OKC.

Just going and seeing the devastation live and in person gives you chills. One house may not have a lot of damage while across the street, there's nothing left. 

First day I went, we gathered at this one church to get instructions.   There were some building sheds there at the church, while some went to do debris removal and another lady and myself went to Antioch Christian Church to help there (that is where these pics of the plushies came from)

One thing I didn't hear much of from the group that went both days -- Complaining!!! Yes, it was hot and yes we consumed a lot of water and Gatorade...but nobody complained.  We were working for the Lord, so that made it a lot of fun.

Saying "Thank you" is never quite enough, but anyway, thanks to all who helped this past weekend -- Jeff and Tammy McDowell, our pastor and his wife; Chris and Heather Roulet, Kathy Brinkley, Nancy Jackson, Donna Burton, Donna Poeling, Eva Hise, Susana Hobbs, Dwain and Rhonda Weil, Rory Camblin and her children, a lot of the youth came and helped...it was an honor to work with you guys (I know I left some people out, but thank you too.)

There is LOTS more that needs to be done in Moore (and Little Axe, Shawnee, El Reno and so on).  ServeMoore.com Go here and this will show you what you need to know, where you need to go and everything.

Again, thanks for letting me be a part of this!  This is something I will not soon forget.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Mainly for my Twitter followers...

This edition of Rob's Rants and Raves is geared toward those who follow me on my Twitter account

Rob's Twitter page

I have a lot of people who follow me that are Christian leaders, pastors, musicians, etc.  and I try to keep my posts and whatever I re-tweet G or PG rated.  Yes, I have my shortcomings and sometimes raw emotions take over and a few "rackin' frackin's" come out.  It goes to show I'm human, that I'm not always so spiritual that I'm no earthly good.  It also goes to show I need to remember what ESPN NFL analyst Herm Edwards says all the time, "Think before you hit Send", although I'm not in the same caliber where my tweets might wind up on SportsCenter or something like that -- I say that, then my comment about Dog and Beth scaring the bail bondsman's daughter's prom date made air on the Fan Edition this past week.

So for those who do follow me that are pastors, including my own pastor Jeff and everybody -- just know that I'm not purposely trying to live one way in church and one way in the community.  I really am doing my best to be Christ's example in all I do and yes I slip up.  

Thank you for your understanding and God bless.

Friday, April 19, 2013

What a Week...

Needless to say, this has been one very emotional week in our nation.  With the bombing at the Boston Marathon, which has ensued into a manhunt with one of the suspects dead and another one being chased all over the Boston area to the explosion and tragedy in West, TX to now today (as I write this) remembering our own tragedy in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995.

I am just now beginning to be overwhelmed with emotion over what all has transpired in this week.  The person who is usually strong and offers a shoulder to lean on and some kind of comfort (yet freaks out over something like my Dad falling and hitting his head on the kitchen floor) now is to the point where I need shoulders of my own...and that doesn't happen that often!

Friday, April 5, 2013

The "Dash"

This is one of those blogs that come in the middle of the night when you are trying to sleep and your brain just won't shut up.

A little back story:  For about 3 1/2 years, I sat under the ministry of Billy Joe and Sharon Daugherty at Victory Christian Center in Tulsa.  One of the ministries under their covering was a street ministry led by a precious man named Phil Brown.  What he would do, with the help of several other people was he would get people from homeless shelters and some of the Tulsa Housing Authority apartments and take them to the Tulsa Dream Center for a time of worship and then afterwards would feed the people.

In one of our services, Phil talked about "the dash", as in the period of time between the day you were born and the day you went to your eternity whether it was with God or down south and I don't mean Texas. (for example, mine would be 1971 -       ).  And he would say something to the effect of "how you live your life and what you accomplish in life fits in that dash".

I was thinking about a couple of people who completed that "dash" in the last few days, one prominent nationally, the other one locally.

The first one I thought of was Roger Ebert...noted film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times and co-host of a film review show with Gene Siskel back in the day on Public television.  The last few years even though he fought cancer and it affected his ability to speak vocally, he still used his computer and his thoughts to amply transmit what he thought about the latest movies, whether giving it a "thumbs up" or a "thumbs down".  I don't know if he ever thought about a spiritual life or nor do I want to judge him on that, I'll leave that to God -- but he accomplished a lot in that "dash" that lasted 70 years.

The other one I was thinking of was Paul Flick, Jr., who carried on the "family business" known as Blunck Studios for many years after Mr. Blunck passed away.  He also leaves a lasting legacy -- Blunck's has studios in several communities in Oklahoma and Texas, and also the formal shop "Dottie's".  He leaves behind several grandchildren and great grandchildren, who no doubt share his love of photography.  Paul Jr. fit 92 years into his dash...and Western Oklahoma is reaping the rewards today.

Phil passed away a couple of years ago.  He did a lot in his dash too...after living a life on the streets, he submitted himself to God, got cleaned up and served in ministry at Victory...not only doing the street ministry I mentioned, but also arranging the buses to pick people up on Sunday mornings for services and other things.  I am grateful for the time I had with Phil and the folks in the Victory "Overcomers" Cell Group Ministry.  He was a great man who had an infectious smile and just a great joy to be around.  

To Phil, Roger and to Paul Jr. -- congratulations guys.  You fit a lot into that dash, and you did it well.  Good job.  Rest in Peace!!!

Now that I've typed what needed to be said, hopefully I can get a little bit of sleep...but I doubt it.

Monday, March 11, 2013

An Open Letter to the Conclave...

To the College of Cardinals currently meeting in Vatican City:

I know you will not be able to see this, being that all outside communication is jammed, but I thought I would give you something to think about as you meet to select who will lead your Catholic church.

I must qualify my comments as saying I am not part of the Catholic faith, but I am a follower of Jesus and a "practicing Christian" like the great Apostle Paul.

I encourage you to disregard everything that you may have heard on who the "experts" might say who may be selected the next Pope.  The only ones that know who will be the new Pontiff will be you, and the Holy Trinity -- Father, Son and Holy Spirit.   Put the natural politics aside and let the Holy Spirit lead you and guide you through the process, and may the new Pope be the one He wants and has ordained for this time and place.

Like the rest of the world, Catholic and Protestant, I will pray with you as this process unfolds.  May God's blessings be on you at this time.

A fellow Pilgrim in the journey of Faith,

Robert Keil
Clinton, OK

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Some Random TV thoughts...

If you watch local TV news for any amount of time, you tend to think that you are welcoming the anchors and reporters as friends and now with Facebook and Twitter and any other social media, you can interact with them...let them know what works and what doesn't.

With that said, watching the newscasts on our Oklahoma City TV stations...here are some observations I have and maybe some suggestions for each station:

1. KFOR (NewsChannel 4)-- I know they went through a graphics overhaul a few years ago, but I think it's time for a refresh.  Drop the "NewsChannel" name.  Use something like "Oklahoma's News Leader" or whatever. Also... change the music.  You've basically used the same theme package for 20 yrs.  You need to upgrade it. I've got an idea for one..
Global TV (Canada) News Theme

Yes I know...it's for a Canadian network, but I'm sure it can be Americanized with the NBC tones or something.

Also...maybe you should pair Joleen Chaney with Ed Doney for the weekend evening newscasts instead of having one do one day and one do the other.  The same with the morning weekend shows. (3/17 Update:  Joleen is now doing the 4am hour on KFOR and the 7-9am show on KAUT-43, replacing Lance West who went back to evenings).

2. KOCO -- no real big observations, except maybe for the fact they got rid of a noon newscast several years ago.

3. KWTV News 9 -- since your parent company owns the Radio Oklahoma Network, have more synergy with the member stations.  If they have some big stories working (like with parts of Clinton having to boil water this week due to the power being out at the water treatment plant due to the blizzard), help them out.  I love that you and your Tulsa sister KOTV share content, but you also need to share (more) content with your RON stations, like The Coyote or NewsTalk KCLI.

4.  KOKH Fox 25 -- where do I start here?  Well, nice to see that you're getting ready for your own "HD Done Right" campaign like your Chattanooga sister.  

On that note, maybe you can expand your newscasts...include a 5p news hour with Mike and Jaime.  Also expand your morning newscasts to include weekends.

Another observation I have...since the Oklahoma City market encompasses such a large area, establish a Western Oklahoma news bureau.  I guess that would go along with my wish for News 9 to work more with their Radio Oklahoma Network affiliates, but still...

That's all that I can think of for now for TV anyway.  Just wait until what I have for the radio folk...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Expanded Coverage...

Welcome to a snow-packed edition of Rob's Rants and Raves.

We got somewhere around 8"-10" of powder here in Clinton...2.1" liquid-wise (according to News 9).  As far as putting a dent into the drought...we're getting there.  

Reason the title of this is "Expanded Coverage"...I've decided to try my hand at Tumblr.  It is a kind of extension of this blog, with maybe a smidge more smart-aleck-ness (or is it smart-alex-ness -- like the town near Chickasha).  Oh well...

Here's the address to my Tumblr page:

I currently have three people who follow it:  My brother, a friend of his and the University of Oklahoma.  Would love to have many more!

Oh, I am on Twitter too...@rjkeil.

That's about it for now.  May you have an excellent day...stay safe and beware of the snowmen!!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Baby Steps...

Good Monday morning from Casa de Keil in West Clinton...

As some of you may have noticed on my Facebook and Twitter, I have been starting to use the treadmill.  Since Stephenie moved to SE Oklahoma, she left the treadmill with us so mainly Dad can still run and train for his 5K's and to keep himself healthy.  After the first of the year, I decided to start getting on the treadmill to get healthy myself.  So I started out walking on the treadmill for 10 mins about twice a week.  I have since started (as of today) to go every other day (Mon/Wed/Fri), still for 10 mins.  Once that's pretty well established, I'll bump it up to 15 mins and so on.

I said when I started that I may not get to the 5K or half-marathon pace that Dad and Stephenie are at, but at least I am making an effort.

As for my appetite...that's another ball game all together.  Yes, I see pics of different things like a Jiggs Wooly Burger or watch shows on Food Network or go on food sites and my taste buds go bonkers.  That's another thing I need to tackle too without going off the deep end.

It's going to be a labor of love for me, I know...especially (if you have read my previous blog entries) since I'm doing my best and following what God wants me to do.  But as we know from Romans 8:28 (NIV) And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

That's about it for right now.  Until next time...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Need Protection? Call Psalm 91!

As I am writing this, today is January 15.  I believe I've shared this before on here, so if I have, bear with me.

It was on this date in 1991 that my faith and who I was got put to the test in a major way.  In case you have forgotten, it was about this time in 1991 that our Armed Forces were in the Middle East getting ready to kick Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi forces out of Kuwait.  I was in the Army National Guard at the time here in Oklahoma and our unit was on "standby".  I knew that meant that there was a possibility I could have been sent over to fight, so I really had to learn to trust in the Lord.  And fittingly, Psalm 91 was the Scripture that immediately came to mind. From the New Living Translation...

1Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
3For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
4He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
5Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
6Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
7Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.
8Just open your eyes,
and see how the wicked are punished.
9If you make the Lord your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
10no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.
11For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
12They will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13You will trample upon lions and cobras;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
14The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
15When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
16I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”

I took this to mean that if our unit was called to go, I have this assurance that God and His angels would protect me.  Of course you know the rest of the story...after kicking Saddam's butt out of Kuwait, President Bush the elder called a cease-fire and that was the end of that.

So I can imagine what the men and women today who are having to go to Afghanistan are going through...and those who have gone over all this time.  They don't know what's going to happen over there, but (at least to me anyway) they have the assurance that if they trust in the Lord and seek refuge in Him, He will protect them.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Forgiveness is NOT an Option!!!

First blog post of 2013 and I already have to break out the soapbox...

As you know, Baltimore Ravens LB Ray Lewis is playing his last round of playoffs starting today.  While he may be a lock to have a bust in Canton (Ohio), some people are making a mountain out of a mole hill about an incident in his past...I'm talking about him being acquitted of a murder charge several years ago.

With that in mind, I bring up this point and it has been brought up so many times in several different scenarios...if a Loving, Just and Righteous God can forgive Ray Lewis, why can't we?  Why do we fish for something that's been put in the Sea of Forgetfulness?  Answer me that!!!