Saturday, July 30, 2016

I don't believe Christ would Be Pleased.

My Dad’s family has lived in the Ozark Mountains of south central Missouri since the 1880s. I’ve lived here myself since 1978.  My dad, my children, and my grandson are all native Missourians.  My mom’s family arrived in California during the gold rush, and I was born and raised in the heart of California’s historic Mother Lode.  While I will always be proud of my heritage as a native Californian, I’m equally proud of my Missouri heritage.  Since my arrival in the Ozarks, I’ve been a member of two church families, one for 20 years and one for 18. I’ve been a faithful, baptized believer and follower of Christ for almost 40 years. Some time back my mother approached me with a heavy heart to inform we that she had been notified, by someone for whom I had felt a good deal of affection for many years, that I had been largely written off by my church family, because my views were not sufficiently conservative as to make me acceptable in polite, Christian society. Suffice it to say, that was hurtful on many levels. Sadly, I believe this lamentable attitude is rampant in organized religion today. I believe it is widespread, and frequently sanctioned and encouraged. And I believe it is fundamentally detrimental to our families, our communities, our churches, and the entire United States of America. I suggest that all those who consider themselves people of faith give the state of their Christian outreach some serious thought.  I don’t believe Christ would be pleased.  

To me, the saddest aspect of the polarization which currently threatens our unity as a nation is the fact that much of it stems from the effect on well intentioned believers of the pathological hatred and the detestable prevarications of a small, well organized group of bigoted, unchristian insurrectionists, who are in it purely for the notoriety and financial gain. SC

Friday, July 29, 2016

I marvel everyday at the increasingly angry voices of those who evidently believe that “religious liberty” means they’re at liberty to tell others what to believe. What in the world are they thinking? Religious liberty, as provided in our Constitution by the very first amendment to that Constitution, does not mean that you have the right to impose your beliefs on others.  The Establishment Clause does not allow the government to support one religion more than any other religion. The government also cannot say a religion or a god is true. This is often described as "separation of church and state", where "state" means "the government". It also does not allow the government to establish a national religion. It allows people to debate religion freely without the federal government of the United States getting involved. It means you have the freedom to believe whatever you choose, as long as your practices infringe in no way on the rights of others to do likewise.

Clasped hands, hope and cooperation, or clenched fists, despair and disintegration, it’s that simple.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

One of these choices reflects a benevolent God.

Each and every day whether it’s an election year or not, we each make a choice. We choose whether our actions each day will be positive, openhanded efforts to lift others up and move forward together in faith; or self-serving, negative efforts turning others away with a doubled fist. One of these choices reflects a benevolent God. One does not. SC

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Lots of people are weary, discouraged, and tired of being left behind. As a result, they’ve succumb to fear and fear mongering. They’re prepared to give up and turn back. Turning back is not now and never been an option. There’s no need to take this country back or question our greatness. It’s time to step out in faith, recognizing and sharing our many blessings, lifting up those who’ve fallen, encouraging those who strive to move us forward, and raising the torch of Liberty to light the way to a brighter, more prosperous future for all. SC

Saturday, July 16, 2016


As a follower of Christ for over sixty years, I’ve probably referred to this little scrap of scripture a thousand times, in posts and silent prayer.  I shared it today with a friend who’d never heard it. Forgive me if I share it here again.  As Christians, we’re encouraged to be prepared to share, if asked, what one must do to become a follower of Christ. Sadly, many professed Christians will answer this simple and sincere question by producing a staggering list of demands and requirements that would crush the hopes of even Christ’s apostles. The Bible answers this age-old question succinctly, authoritatively, and with little room for confusion or debate, in Micah 6:8, “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God?”  It’s that simple. Seek these things in sincerity and prayer, and a walk with Jesus Christ will surely follow. SC  

Friday, July 15, 2016

Our voting populace IS the government.

Regardless of their source of inspiration, all recorded/printed religious materials, including the Bible, are man-made documents, and subject to interpretation and misinterpretation by well intentioned people. Our enemies are not our fellow citizens, but those who would subjugate, divide and embitter us for their own partisan purposes and financial gain. Neither is our enemy “the government”. Politicians and elected officials are empowered, emboldened and elected by those whose partisan views they represent.  Our voting populace IS the government, and it’s most effective when we each stay informed and vote. SC

Elements of the daily barrage of political ads suggest there is some confusion regarding religious liberty. Religious liberty does not mean you have the right to impose your religious views on others. It means exactly the opposite. It means you’re at liberty to believe what you choose, as long as your practices don’t infringe on the rights of others. SC

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The goal has always been an extraordinarily diverse but generally harmonious union. This, even in the midst of today’s deliberately polarized dissension, is achievable.

The greatest thing about being an American citizen with a long-established heritage, is having roots from all over the world, and living in a society that recognizes, promotes, and celebrates that diversity, while insuring equality and freedom for every citizen. Freedom is every heart’s desire and every just government’s goal, but prior to our Constitution, liberty was a mighty illusive concept. My ancestors risked everything they had in their quests for liberty, because, in case after case, their homelands had very little appetite for religious freedoms.  In far too many cases, Kings, Queens, and powerful religious institutions attempted to dictate religious beliefs and enforce their own narrow morality on society. Bigotry, intolerance and bondage were generally the result, and the freedom we enjoy today was little more than a dream. Even today, in the 21st century, in a country recognized around the world as the land of liberty, there are those who, given the opportunity, would deny the right to personal choices and forcibly impose their religious beliefs on others.  If you feel compelled to spread the good news of your gospel, by all means do so, but even in Scripture, believers were never called to forcibly inflict their religious interpretations on others. They were called to go out as sheep among wolves, to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves, doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with their God. They were called to share the good news of salvation through a loving, forgiving Savior, and then leave people be to make their own personal choices. Our goal in America is not now and has never been, a society in which we are each fundamentally alike and of one accord.  There has never been any expectation that we’d each become alike. The hope has always been that, through a democratic government and its resulting system of justice, we would honor each other’s personal freedoms and peacefully coexist. The goal has always been an extraordinarily diverse but generally harmonious union.  This, even in the midst of today’s deliberately polarized dissension, is achievable, through civility, compassion, rational dialogue and the joint pursuit of the time-honored goal of our Constitution: the mutually beneficial amalgamation of all our diverse populace and their beliefs, into one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.  SC

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


I guess it all comes down to this. Which America do we prefer?
America the gated community, walled off, apathetic and suspicious; or,
America the city on a hill, a thousand points of light, powerful, dependable, compassionate defender of truth, justice, liberty and the planet? Faith and stewardship are expensive, but rewarding. You choose. SC

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


Why, I’m happy as a bug on the bow of a boat.  Have you ever watched a grasshopper on the bow of a boat, when that ol’ steamer is churning along at a good clip, the hull is pounding the cobalt blue water into a fine spray, and the shore is sailing by? And that ol’ grasshopper is clinging to the railing for dear life, his little antennae are trailing in the wind, his molars are all catchin’ sunlight, his eyes are glazed over and glistening in grateful satisfaction and the tobacco juice is streaming from the corners of his mouth and collecting in his whiskers and his ears?  Now that’s happy!  SC

Sunday, July 10, 2016

At age 64 it occurs to me, we spend our first thirty years thinking about our future, our next thirty thinking about our past, and our last years wondering what the hell we were thinking! SC

The goals of a true patriot are, or at least should be, synonymous with those of a person of true faith: the pursuit of justice, salvation and equity, through mercy, restraint and humility. SC

The most telling measure of a nation’s heart is the compassion and the unity of its people.

Clearly America’s collective conscience, as reflected by our chosen leaders, requires constant scrutiny and surveillance. Even in a democracy of, by and for its people, justice and equality are only as reliable as the conscience of that people.  Even America’s best intentioned efforts are subject to both our goodness and our greed. Freedom is not a privilege to be taken lightly. Freedom is a right and a responsibility, a perishable torch to be diligently tended and faithfully past along. Freedom burns within our hearts, ignited by our founding fathers, and it falls to us to keep that flame alive. America’s most trusted and time-honored institutions are only as righteous as the hearts of our citizens; our most pious leaders only as just as the collective conscience of their constituents, and the most telling measure of a nation’s heart is the compassion and the unity of its people.  SC  

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The road not taken

For many of us, if we slip away and sit quietly, unmolested by the world and its demands, somewhere, deep in the still, shaded corners of our subconscious, barely audible, like an unspoken whisper in the wind, lurks the siren call of the road not taken. Generally, we dare not listen, but once in awhile, when nobody’s watching, we surrender our thoughts to memories temptress, and slip into a past we never knew. Does that ever happen to you?  SC

Keep the US strong and united

Due to all variety of fears, discontentment and disenfranchisement, our country today is a tinderbox, just waiting for a spark. Don’t be that spark.  Don’t be one more tear in our nation’s fraying fabric. Be one more stitch. Be the thread that binds a tattered seam. Be the hope, faith and charity that down through the ages has celebrated freedom and advanced American ideals. Honor our veterans, be worthy of their sacrifice, cherish your liberty, and keep America strong. SC   

Friday, July 8, 2016

A powerful force for good

Hatred is extremely contagious and too often spreads exponentially through people whose misplaced passions infect other victims and result in a virtual plague. We suffer today from an epidemic of fear mongering and phobias, fanned deliberately into a major conflagration for the financial gain of a few unscrupulous entities. Our society has been deliberately inflamed and polarized for partisan political purposes.  If one turns on any media, especially during this election year, they are quickly drawn into the darkness, negativity, contempt and hatred which have been proven to influence voters and determine elections. This deliberate exploitation of our people has consequences.  We see these consequences everyday as this deliberately created wave of darkness and negativity washes across our country. We see it with increased and frightening frequency in isolated incidents of violence, and in waves of additional violence which spread exponentially as a result. Don’t fall victim to it.  Don’t contribute to it. Don’t participate in it.  Don’t fan the flames by sharing inflammatory posts. Each of us walks a different path, revealed in a different light. As a result, we each have different perspectives, different convictions, and varying points of view. Share your convictions. Voice your opinion. Participate in the process, but find positive ways of influencing others through optimism, hope and constructive behavior. Sadly, there are those among us who are pathological haters. They can’t be reasoned with and they can’t be shouted down.  Our best hope is to simply ignore them or find them help.  You don't extinguish hate by fanning its flames. The only way to combat hate is to come together as a powerful force for good. SC

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Do you ever find yourself in one of those discussions where you put in your two cents worth, and then once you've received your change you just back away? I’ve saved the change from all those transactions and created a pretty good nest egg. SC

The saddest aspect of the Presidential campaign of 2016

To me, the saddest aspect of the Presidential campaign of 2016, and the problem which underlies and exacerbates the growing partisan divide in the USA, is the number of professed Christians who’ve been conditioned by their media and even the pulpit, to believe they’re required to back the conservative Republican candidate, even if its Donald Trump. As someone who has endeavored to follow Christ for over fifty years, it’s extremely difficult for me to see how anyone professing to follow Christ, by doing justly, loving mercy and walking humbly with their God, could possibly reconcile any aspect of their Christian walk with following Donald Trump. Sad does not begin to cover it.

Have ya got a minute?

I began posting to this blog in 2010.  Since then I've posted much of my historical novel, two small photo/poetry books, much of my genealogy, hundreds of my photos, dozens of my poems, countless thoughts on religion and politics, and a variety of odds & ends.  This blog has received thousands of page views from all over the world, but has very few followers and rarely receives a comment. Suffice it to say I'm bored and discouraged.  I'm going to post a link at which you may contact me if you'd like.  I'd appreciate any encouragement you might offer. I'm also looking for a reputable publisher and would appreciate suggestions.  If you occasionally enjoy any of my posts, I'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

An Unchristian Reception

Just as in every other aspiring metropolis here in the good ol’ USA, Independence Day in Willow Springs is a big deal!  There’s always a big parade down Main Street, and the organizers of the festive and time-honored event collect and decorate all the locals they can muster, to parade through town portraying historical characters. Suffice it to say, these colorfully costumed impersonators achieve this hoodwinking in varying degrees. For a number of years now, I’ve gladly seized this opportunity to impersonate Mark Twain. While I am at best a pale, pasteurized facsimile of Mr. Twain, minus the wit and wisdom, everybody loves Mark Twain, and I gladly accept their affection on his behalf. Sunday night I laid out my freshly laundered, off white suit and groomed my appropriately white, wispy whiskers in preparation for the big day.  During the wee hours of the morning I was awakened to find my right eye feeling as though it was packed with broken glass and glued shut.  Pinkeye again! This of course, curtailed my participation in all the day’s festivities, with the exception of sitting in quiet seclusion and pouting. This I did, as my family and much of humanity enjoyed parades, picnics and fireworks. Tuesday morning, I struggled from bed, dutifully administered my eye drops as instructed, donned my bathrobe and shuffled to the porch, to collapse on the bench and commiserate with the cat. All at once something scampered up my neck and into my ear.  Several seconds of frantic flailing and colorful colloquialisms eventually dislodged a brown recluse spider that had evidently been seeking refuge in my robe. Despite his unchristian reception, the good natured little Arachnid chose not to bite me, and I should have been more appreciative of his restraint.  I was not.  I squished him anyway! I’m generally quite mild and forgiving, but he caught me on a bad day.  SC    

Monday, July 4, 2016

Dear God,
I thank you tonight that my old heart and soul are still stirred by America’s grand old flag and our patriotic songs. I ask your blessing tonight on our union, our military, our citizens, and all our leaders, past, present and aspiring, all those who choose a life of service. Reinforce our bonds, dear Lord, strengthen our faith, and God bless America.

BOOM BANG POP ZIPZAP PSSSSSSST *** ** * * * * Good one!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

America's Best Hope...

The vast, moderate middle of our country is the product of generations of Americans who have dedicated themselves and their efforts to the ideals and principles of our country’s founding fathers, and the impassioned patriots who’ve carried that message forward. As a result, despite the hysteria reflected by much of the media today, America is now stronger than ever. Now, unlike ever before, America is a government of, by and for a people, unified by the faiths of our fore fathers, devoted to the proposition that we are each created equal, and dedicated to the pursuit of liberty and justice for all. During this election year, many are concerned if not distressed by the antics of some of history’s most colorful candidates and the polls which suggest that large numbers of our electorate share their eccentricity. Do not despair. While fringe elements and disruptive segments of our society generate much of the noise and the news, our vast, moderate middle decides elections. Regardless of partisan differences and the election results, America's best hope remains in the education, reason and resiliency of our young people, and their continued pursuit of America’s time-honored ideals. Our youth, for the most part, are steeped in our history, enlightened by our mistakes, encouraged by our achievements and  absolutely determined to do better.  SC  


Lately I’ve heard numerous concerned citizens pose the following question: What has gone wrong with this country and how did it get this way? They believe our best days are behind us. I, of course, can only offer my own humble opinion. I disagree. I believe this great nation suffers today from the same malady that has, from its inception, made America the wonder of the world. Today, as always, we suffer from growing pains, unprecedented prosperity and a desire on the part of sincere and compassionate Americans to promote and manage this remarkable achievement in a way that is sustainable, fair and equitable for all our citizens. We’ve gotten this way because, as a democracy, when we vote, we elect leaders who reflect and represent a voting populace whose views are as diverse and varied as one would expect from a population comprised of every conceivable faith, heritage, ethnicity and nationality on the planet. As a result, today the principles that made America great are stronger than ever, our ideals increasingly resolute, our future brighter and our liberty the envy of the civilized world. The vast, moderate, middle of our electorate may not be prepared to march for the advancement of justice. But, once advanced, the majority will recognize and sustain it. The American ideals of Liberty and Justice are forged in the fires of scripture and tempered by the ages.  Many people have dedicated their lives to the freedoms we Americans enjoy today.  Honor their sacrifice. Honor our veterans and all those who choose a life of service.  In all things, promote liberty for all and justice tempered by mercy. Take pride in your heritage, but value the traditions of others. America’s greatest strength is diversity. Celebrate diversity and keep America strong. SC

Friday, July 1, 2016

When it comes to divisive political issues, Donald Trump is the biggest blessings the USA has received in years. When questioning any issue, all that’s required of a concerned citizen is a quick check to see what Donald thinks. As long as we think something entirely different, we're probably fine.

Do you know where your mind is today?

Do you know where your mind is today?  If left unattended, minds tend to wander to places they need not be. Set aside a bright, roomy section of your mind and fill it with all your best memories. Keep it clean and it will serve you well.  Share it with your Deity, whatever you perceive Him to be. Be mindful of your example to others; it’s your most effective testimony.  Value truth and consider the cost of deceit.  Be open to affection but wary of unwholesome pleasures. And do not be deceived. Deceit is ephemeral; lies and indiscretions will eventually come to light. Every action has a consequence.  When considering any action, think the scenario through to its logical conclusion. You can never undo a thoughtless deed, and carelessly sewn seed produce a ponderous harvest.  Anything that you are unable to do in good conscience and moderation, do not do.  Eat nutritiously and judiciously, burning more calories than you consume to the extent you are able, and you’ll be healthier, more industrious, more prosperous, profoundly gratified, and gut wrenchingly contented.  It’s what all the ages have striven for. Sharpen your awareness of the natural wonders which surround us and encourage its appreciation by others. Be cognizant of life’s cycles, appreciating each new season in turn, while realizing fully that, despite our best efforts, time is resolute.  With time, each season will pass.  Embrace each new season with hope and optimism while retaining your very best memories of seasons past.  Remember always that you are as good as any and better than none. Be just, merciful, humble, and be happy.  SC

Poor Mr. Trump. If Mr. Trump honestly believes that a chance meeting and brief visit by a retired president and a public official at an airport, is the worst thing that has happened all year, Mr. Trump needs to get out more. Maybe we should consider building a wall so that people of consequence don’t risk running into each other at airports. That would be huge! ;)