Thursday, April 26, 2012

2 plus 2 equals 4 . . . Maybe?

I recently was at Liberty Lake Park in Bedford. Since I wore my dapper hat, three young folks, about twelve years old, thought I'd be a sucker to buy a raffle ticket.

Well, I've never bought a lottery ticket in my life, I did bend for their effort however, and bought one ticket for a local cause.

The ticket's cost was three dollars. I had only two singles on me and didn't want to challenge the kids to change a larger bill. So, I hollered to my son and had him cough up the additional dollar.

I held the three single dollar bills in front of the kid's noses. They had seen me bum a dollar from my son. I asked them a simple question:

I said, "What if I win, how would I split the $100 prize?"

Right off the tall boy simply said, "You split it in half."

I reiterated the point, holding two dollars in one hand, and just one dollar in the other, and said, "But I put in two dollars and he only put in one dollar."

Then the girl piped up and said, "You keep $75 and he gets $25."

I said, "Hey you guys, that is not fair to him he would only get one forth and me three forth."

Still holding the three dollars in front of them I said, "Shouldn't he get one-third and I keep two-thirds?"

"Yes," said the younger of the three, "he gets ten dollars and you get ninety."

"Yo, listen!" I said. "One third of a hundred is $33. So, how much should I get if I win?"

Duh . . . none of the three had a clue.

Could it be that I intimidated those freckle-faced kids with my dapper hat?



Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Seizure

This Sunday after church my wife and I chose a quaint restaurant to eat a light lunch.

A young man in his early thirties, and what appeared to be his grandmother, came in and were seated at the table next to us. The elderly lady, frail and assisted by a cane, gingerly took her seat. The waitress brought water and politely took their order.

My wife and I had just begun to enjoy our main course when the elderly woman began to have severe shakes. The shakes soon became uncontrollable in her legs and arms. The lady convulsed to a horizontal position and slipped to the floor. An ambulance was called.

Two or more waitresses came to assist the young man. After the convulsions somewhat subsided, they helped in repositioning her back to the chair.

The young man, on his knees, spoke to her in a kind manner while she began to regain control.

Suddenly, the old lady started to hit and smack the young man with an anger that obviously came from deep within her inner soul. With the waitresses' help they succeeded to restrain her violent outburst. Continuing to speak kindly to her, they accomplished to have her sit, although slumped, while her arms and legs still trembled.

A man, apparently a doctor, came rushing into the restaurant. With him he brought his soft-cloth satchel, a cushion and a small restraining jacket. He quickly checked her color and vital signs. Then, he and the young man gently wrapped her and the cushion, and carried the lady from the restaurant to await the ambulance.

Points to ponder:

Where did the doctor come from?  Did he have a scanner on to intercept the emergency call? If so, I praise God for people like that who would give up a Sunday lunch or a nap to rush to a need that is within their reach.

Why did the old woman beat and slap at the young man? He obviously gave up his time to treat his grandmother, or maybe simply an older lady, to lunch at a good, nice restaurant. I'm sure the woman initially accepted the young man's gracious offer and came with him willingly.

I'm not, by all means, condemning the old lady. I've seen several times, in my three-score-and-twelve years, when totally unbecoming and irrational behavior, or words, sprang forth from an old person.

In my mother's last days she became a person that I never saw or knew before. It was almost like little demons were coming out and grasping for a new home. It is scary to think that we as humans are all alike and capable of irrational deeds. The battle in us between good and evil rages since we were born. Don't ever say, "I'm not going to be like that when I get old."

To cap this little story, please read just these two verses in the bible:     Ephesians  6:12-13


Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Newness Of Life

Every spring I rejoice in seeing the newness of life.

I ponder nature and try to apply it to my life. When the storms howl dead branches break and fall to the ground and are buried by leaves. I thank the Lord for my storms in life. For breaking off my deadness, my sins, and bury them, and be covered by His sacrifice.

I ponder the buds on the trees, a regeneration to newness, to purpose, to grow. I question my regeneration, my purpose. Am I here after seventy-two years to just sail into the sunset? No. My purpose is to grow closer to the Lord, and to participate in the growing of others.

I ponder the blossoms on the trees, cheerful, bright, attracting fellowship. I question my cheerfulness, my brightness, the light in me, does it it shine, draw others?

I ponder the onset of the fruit, the continuance of life, the life hereafter. I question my fruit. Have I been faithful and born the fruit I was asked to produce? Or do I need more pruning to remove the dead in me?

I ponder the seed that is in each fruit. May it be in the apple, in the persimmon, in the dogwood berry. I could bury a candy corn, but it will not grow to produce more corn. However, I can plant a seed from a tree or a vine and it will grow and produce more fruit–more seeds. Because God has endowed it with the spark of life.

So, what is the spark of life? When does it begin? We, mankind has already found out when we mess with tomatoes and corn for instance, we generate a hybrid fruit that has dead seeds in it. They will not sprout.

When does life begin? It begins with the will of God. How dare we, mankind, say a baby is nothing but a blob before it draws a breath. That is like saying an apple is not an apple until it is in a pie. Life begins at conception. It was God's will.

Let me leave you with an unsettling question and comment.

Why did a court of law convict Scott Peterson for killing his wife AND his unborn child? Because the child was a human being! The abortion mongers didn't complain and holler, "Ah that blob was not a person." Why? When does life begin?


Monday, April 16, 2012

Warm Days

I like spring because of its promise of life. Even the stinkbugs, the ones that tried so hard to get into your house in the fall, are now wanting to get back outside and back into action.

Not only do flowers spring up during the warm days, but also animals are drawn to wake up from a winter's rest and get on with the plan.

I recently saw this rock, precariously perched at the edge of our deck table.

I figured one of the grandchildren had placed it there. But, after trying to pick it up, it felt a bit fragile. I realized it was just hanging out there, enjoying the warmth of the sun.

When I touched his hind legs, this lethargic little toad just barely opened its eyes. His peaceful look simply said, "Hey, I'm not bothering anything."

Likewise, spring encourages the littlest blooms to show off and soak up the new warmth.

Those are not the blooms of wild strawberries. I know what one flower is, but I can't spell it. Don't know what the star-shaped bloom is.   (Clue me in please.)

Speaking of clueing me in, tell me what this one is. I've seen the thing bloom only in the woods. This one is at about 2,500 feet above sea level in a Floyd County woods.

I feel like I need to make a remark here.  STOP! Stop your walking, running, biking with those everlasting invasive earphones in your ears, and ENJOY the small things in life.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Tickled Pink

Pink does not always have to relate to ones political beliefs or associations. (although you never will see me wearing a pink shirt!)

Pink is often the color of spring. A soft awakening of new life. Redbud trees flashing their pink profusion, mixed with the showing of frail light greens of nearby trees and bushes, is one of God's paintings of nature.

Blue Ridge Parkway

A week or two after the redbuds, the dogwoods are in full bloom. In our yard we love the pink dogwood showing off.

Again only God can reveal His creation with such glory.

As I ponder His everlasting love for us, and bring into focus the meaning of Easter, I can just wonder what the morning of Jesus's resurrection displayed? What did the two women see as they hurried to the tomb?

I venture to say it was more beautiful than this.

Easter morning at 6:50am 2012


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Chocolate Eggs On Sauerkraut

I've known folks that start a meal with dessert. It could have been that the person was afraid he'd miss out on that chocolate pie in the buffet line by the time he finished his fried chicken.

I have witnessed folks that don't let one food touch the other while on their plate. God forbid if one pea should roll over to touch the mashed potatoes and therefore become contaminated. Folks like that eat one food item at a time, including a separate dab of mustard. They chew and send the portion to one of the dozens of individual stomachs they think they have been blessed with. To them it is inconceivable to have all food enter one stomach and be mixed together.

Then there are folks who are very proper and only eat their individual courses in the proper sequence. Sitting erect, chewing every bite twenty-four times, with mouth closed. Folks like that make sure they are using the small fork for the salad, the smaller knife for––I don't know what. Of course, they never slurp their soup. They never cut more than tree bites and always switch the fork back to their right hand. They are the kind of folks that don't care for gravy, too messy.

Then there are the germ-o-phobes. They wash their hands, then right-off grab the doorknob to exit the bathroom. They shake hands with friends at the table, then use a wet-wipe to clean their hands. Settling in to partake of the meal, they scoot their chair closer to the table, touching some dried out chewing gum under the chair that a snotty nosed kid stuck there the night before. Then they proceed to inspect the water glass for greasy fingerprints and the empty coffee cup for leftover lipstick. They look at the forks and knife to see if some of yesterday's Eggs Benedict withstood the dishwasher.

While all this is going on, I usually come back to the table with seconds.

I'm seventy-two years old and haven't had a cold in years. Growing up, we ate whatever the Lord blessed us with that day. I've seen my mother use a little spittle on her finger to wipe a dried speck from the dinner plate. Germs and calories hadn't made it to the dictionary then.

Now there are eighteen Beissers, and all are aware of germs. At a family spread (bigger than any church picnic buffet), some start their meal with salad, some with cheese and bread, some with fruit, some with veggies and dip, and some with the stuff that really counts––wurst.

I order the best of the wurst from Usingers out of Wisconsin. Ah, we have some in our bunch that analyze the sausage and its ingredients. Some don't like the looks of the natural casings which show little things that were once connected to the circulatory system of the swine.

The men say little. All of us just want a straight path to the wurst.

Whether the delicacy is simmered or grilled,

The Beisser men are adventurous when it comes to food. We all like to cook and concoct. The fact is, none of us have yet been discovered. How would anyone know what sardines in buttermilk pancakes taste like if you have never tried them? How would anyone ever be pleasantly overjoyed if they have never tried liverwurst melted on apple fritters?

Trust me, you folks have to step out of your routine and live!


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

UFOs in Bedford VA? Again?

Just before the lawn got green, a family of unidentified flying objects landed in our front yard.

There were several smaller rings in the yard indicating a round vehicle had landed. Those green grass rings were about eight feet in diameter.

I figure these smaller vehicles were sent by the UFO's fleet commander to test and secure a spot for the command ship to land.

The command ship was much larger as you can see from the photo.

My question is, "Why did the landings cause the grass to grow faster and greener than the rest of the yard?"

What did they eliminate from their flying ships that made the grass grow like crazy?

I know what you're thinking. But why pick our front yard? Maybe the ship got too full of it and had to dump it? . . . It may be I'm too full of it right now.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

$640,000,000.00 A Ticket To The Nut House


I'm absolutely astounded how the average folks talk about what they will do if they win the Mega Lottery.

Some said they will get them a new car.
Some said they will pay off their mortgage.
Some said they will buy them a yacht.
Some said they will go on a vacation.
Some said they may retire.

Does anybody have any idea how difficult it would be to deal with that kind of money?

First the Government will take half, that leaves $320 million cold cash.

Suppose the recipient stashes the rest of the winnings into Government treasury notes, (pretty secure), at just three percent return per year.

3% of $320 million is $9.6 million income per year.

Pay your taxes on that interest income, (30%), and you have left $6,720,000 clear spending money, each year, and never touch the $320 million in the bank.

You divide that clear spending money by 52 weeks, and you now have the task of figuring out what to do with all of  $129,231 per week. Week after week, after week. For the rest of your life.

You will have more friends than you ever want to have. And, they will drive you crazy.

People will try to steal, cheat, connive, deceive, swindle, snooker, defraud, trick, bamboozle you out of your money.

You will then hire money managers that will relieve you of all that clamor in your life. And before you know it, they also have their hand in your pocket.

No wonder the Bible says," The LOVE of money is the root of all evil."

If somebody hasn't killed you for your money yet, and you still have a brain left, you still have an extra stash of $320,000,000.00 in the bank.

I have never bought a lottery ticket in my life. Of course, none of the young whipper-snappers nowadays would ever listen to an old fogy like me. I'd say,"Put your five bucks a week you spend on the lottery into a retirement account for the next fifty years, add a little to it, and you'll retire as a millionaire."