Friday, October 18, 2013


Up on the hill where the pines grow dense
Where the fields are green and the sky immense
 Scatter one day my last remains                                                  
To be drawn in the earth by the gentle rains.
Gladly did I tread this place
With the gentle breeze upon my face,
A faithful dog for company,
And benevolent sun beaming down on me.
Thank the Lord for the time we had
When rest was blessed and toil was glad,
When joyous hearts rejoiced in truth,
And we shared our hopes and dreams and youth.
Look to the heavens bright and blessed;
See me satisfied, caressed;
Know at last I’m free from care,
My dust is here, but my spirit there.



Friday, October 11, 2013

"As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

During a visit with an acquaintance, I enquired about her political leanings.  I was told that her husband was a staunch conservative and a lifelong Republican. She went on to say that she had been a Democrat when she arrived in Howell County, but soon realized she would be better accepted by the community if she became a Republican. This feat she had evidently accomplished.  I too arrived in the Ozarks as a Democrat, but have never succumbed to the temptations of conversion.  My convictions are not so easily amended.  I’m an American, a Christian, and a Democrat.  My true and irrevocable conviction is to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God, and to vote and do everything else humanly possible to support the right and freedom of others to do likewise.  As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.  SC


/ˈtɛrəˌrɪzəm/ Show Spelled [ter-uh-riz-uh] Show IPA
the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.
the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.

When extremist factions use terrorist tactics to achieve their purposes, they become terrorists.  They should be recognized as terrorists and treated accordingly. SC

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Back in the ‘70s, when my family and I first reestablished our roots in the Ozark Mountains of south central Missouri, we were almost immediately adopted by members of the local Baptist church.  It was a small church, old and well established in the community, the kind of church you might expect to find in a Norman Rockwell painting.  Its congregation consisted of about fifty god-fearing souls, native Ozarkers for the most part, steeped in the old traditions and steadfast in their faith and their beliefs. The little rock structure was modest and unassuming, boasting few accouterments beyond a well tuned piano and the little tin outhouse in the back.  When we enjoyed dinner on the grounds, it was literally on the ground.  We filled our plates with the sumptuous bounty that the women folk provided in vast variety and abundance, and we sat in the shade on the ground. When I was baptized in 1979, we all drove to the creek and the congregation gathered with song books in hand as Brother Billy praised God and washed my sins away, in the icy waters of a pristine Ozark stream.  The worship music for this and all occasions was chosen from our Heavenly Highway Hymnals, rousing, southern gospel selections, guaranteed to touch hearts, win souls, and praise our God on high. I was a member of this little church for twenty years, until my children insisted on a larger, more modern facility, with a more thriving youth group and contemporary Christian music. Many things have changed since those golden days at Dry Creek Church.  Our country itself has changed.  Mercy, compassion and the grand old fellowship have become complicated, compromised and convoluted by partisanship politics and the grand old party. Traditional southern gospel selections rarely grace the morning worship service, and once welcome visitors are scrutinized or scorned if they appear to lean politically to far left. Some people today are ashamed of the old hymns, the old traditions, the old hospitality, and Christ’s unconditional love. Not me.  Give me the old hymns, dinner on the ground, and the outstretched hands of humble people, welcoming sinners and serving a merciful God. Give me people who serve their God, cherish our flag, and offer their hand unconditionally to any who’ll have it.  SC

Friday, October 4, 2013

A pale and powerless substitute

This little testimony is very likely ill-advised, much too easily misconstrued, and almost certain to offend someone, but I’m going to share it anyway. Throughout my life I’ve heard that everyone has a gift.  I’ve spent most of my life wanting very much to believe that, and desperately hoping to discover what mine is. When I was a boy I received a dandy scar on my hand.  I was helping my dad salvage some old barn lumber when I carelessly tossed a weathered, old two by four and in the process drove a 16 penny nail deep into my hand. As childhood injuries go, this one was not particularly serious, but it left me with a nail scarred hand, which for me, has been an ever-present reminder of the nail scarred hand of my Savior, and the hope, peace and joy His sacrifice makes available to each and every one of us through faith. For me, my insignificant childhood injury is emblematic of my Savior and His unconditional love. At best, my hand is a pale and powerless substitute for the nail scarred hand of Christ, but God has performed remarkable works with less.  If and when God chooses, I’d like to believe He might touch one heart through mine.  In any case, it’s in that spirit and with humble heart that I offer it to any who’ll have it. SC

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Blaming our entire government or our entire congress for our current impasse is like blaming a mirror for reflecting an ugly, oozing infection on an otherwise inoffensive countenance. Along with the majority of reasonable Americans, congress reflects and represents a faction of our voting electorate whose views are understandably offensive to most lucid and informed individuals and currently threaten the well-being of all. Do not blame our government for reflecting this impasse.  Blame the infected faction.  SC