Each and every day, each and every one of us, regardless of our circumstances, has a choice. We can squander our time fingering old welts, second guessing past decisions, and tormenting ourselves over the poor choices of others; or we can embrace a new day brimming with opportunities for doing justly, loving mercy, and building foundations for a bright new tomorrow. Time is precious. Choose wisely. SC
Friday, November 24, 2017
Thursday, November 23, 2017
HISTORIC HANGTOWN CRICK
It was many and many a year ago
Along an old stagecoach road,
A gold camp flourished in the snow,
In the heart of the mother lode.
Soon the whole place went to heck,
And loath to call a truce,
They stretched a couple careless necks
With a crudely fashioned noose.
So the gold camp grew in infamy.
Notoriety done the trick!
And soon the little ditch was known
As historic Hangtown crick.
The camp was christened Hangtown too,
In memory of the dead,
And far and wide her legend grew
As the lawless place them fellas wound up dead.
Soon folks rushed in from shore to shore
To pan the muddy street,
With Hangtown renowned for evermore
As the place to come to see them swingin’ feet.
The city fathers deemed it wise
To spread the gold camp’s fame.
Soon gold aplenty became the prize,
And emptying tourists pockets became the game.
When delicate womenfolk arrived,
The name Hangtown give ‘em grief.
So a brand new name was soon contrived,
In the hope it might provide the men relief.
Ravine City was considered
But the womenfolk groaned still,
So at last the city fathers
Changed the name to Placerville.
The little metropolis grew and grew
And the townsfolk, being thrifty,
Began providing gasoline
To the motorists they could lure from highway 50.
Flatlanders now are welcome
Despite what you may hear.
And we very rarely hang one.
With ropes now coiled, we count each tourist dear.
So if you’d like to live on beans
Out west where skies are sunny,
Check out Old Hangtown by all means,
And just to play it safe, bring lots of money.
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
SOMETIMES IN THE EVENING
Sometimes in the evening
When the sun is sinking low,
And the pines are silhouetted
And I’ve nowhere else to go,
I remember good ol’ Placerville
In the distant days of yore,
And I’d very nearly sell my soul
To walk its streets once more.
When its avenues were dusty
And its storefronts weathered wood,
When the girls were thin and lusty
And the Ivy House still stood;
When Main Street ran a rutted course
And blooms were yet a bud,
The only ride to town, a horse,
And gold was in our blood;
When the Hangman’s Tree served nickel beer,
The Cary House was new;
Lamp-lit saloons exuded cheer
And frosty mugs of brew,
The three mile house was always full,
Lake Tahoe days away,
And folks who stopped at Hangtown
Almost always came to stay.
Father in Heaven, hear my prayer.
Dear God, please grant my plea.
If I could just awaken there.
If time could set me free.
If once more I could stroll its streets
And once more breathe it’s air,
I know there’s souls aplenty Lord
Who could benefit from prayer. SC
Her stripes were worn and faded,
Her fabric torn and frayed.
Tattered stars hung loosely now,
Weakened by old battles and decayed.
Still, she hung with dignity,
Despite her ragged state.
Her very fabric promised hope,
Although the hour was late.
Just then, as dawn was breaking,
A rustling in the trees,
A disturbance in the morning mist
And a cool, refreshing of breeze.
The flash of nearby lightening,
Pulses quickened by the thrill,
While meadows shook with thunder
And a deluge took the hill.
With that, Old Glory caught the wind,
Unfurled, as on the march.
Despite the hail that tore her hems,
She took the field and stretched out stiff as starch.
And those who saw this marveled,
And recalled old glory’s youth.
And hearts swelled near to bursting,
Quickened by old loyalties and truth.
And every soul saluted,
While new hope replaced old fears,
And each heart pledged allegiance,
And sealed their pledge with gratitude and tears.
SHANNON THOMAS CASEBEER
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Let us remember on this upcoming Veteran’s Day that our Star Spangled Banner is emblematic of our Union and all those who have fought to preserve it. Its ubiquitous presence symbolizes a time-honored celebration of our pride, our history, and our heritage as American citizens. Above all, it is symbolic of our unity. The stars on Old Glory represent our united states and our dedication and allegiance to our American flag and the principles of liberty and justice for which it stands. As we celebrate that unity and all those who have given their lives to defend it, we should be keenly aware that it falls to each of us to reinforce and strengthen those bonds of kinship, not despite our differences, but because of them. Take pride in your heritage, but value the traditions of others. Our greatest strength is our diversity. Honor diversity and keep America strong.
During prolonged seasons of despair and discouragement, it’s helpful to remember that, surely as darkness must invariably give way to light and winter inevitably to spring; goodness, justice, and enlightenment will inexorably prevail over greed, apathy and ignorance. Ice will thaw; snow will melt, and spring will once more triumph with the warmth and resilience that invariably follow winter. 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.
Our goal in America is not now and has never been, a society in which we are each fundamentally alike and in perfect agreement. 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
Each and every one of us is a distinctive product of our gene pool, our environment, our life experience and our faith. Our beliefs, our convictions, and our partisan leanings are inherent in the unique and singular individual which, through time, we each become. As a result, some of us lean blue, and others red. It’s not simply what we choose to believe. To a large extent, it’s what we’ve become. We need to accept that we’re different and cut each other some slack. SC
Monday, November 6, 2017
The Bible tells us if we would have God’s boundless affection, there’s but one condition: We must love God without restraint and each other without exception. I realize that loving some of us is a tall order, but considering the reward, I suspect it’s worth the effort. And, just between you and me, God doesn’t expect us to be 100% successful. He just requires us to try. I intend to try harder. I suggest you do likewise. While loving everyone, unconditionally, without exception, at first appears daunting if not entirely impossible, that’s not necessarily the case. We are all products of genetics, our environment, and our life experiences. As a result, we are each very different. Despite this obvious fact, we all have one thing in common. Even in the case of the most seeming vile and depraved among us, that individual was once a vulnerable child. To one extent or another, some essence of that innocent child remains. While it’s often difficult to reconcile ourselves to what many people become, or at least appear to have become, with this insight and determination, it’s entirely possible to love who each of us was. We’re required to love the sinner, not the sin. That’s a start. SC
Saturday, November 4, 2017
Back in the mid fifties, even I was a youngster. Following a horrendous spinal tap and the heart stopping diagnosis of Poliomyelitis, I spent several weeks convalescing at Kaiser Hospital in Vallejo California. During a two week confinement in a hospital with dozens of other crippled children, a five year old has worlds of time to pray. One night, all alone in my hospital room, scared half to death and miles and miles from home, I called out to Jesus from the depths of my little soul. Days later the hospital ran some tests, and told my folks to collect me and take me home. When I finally tugged my cowboy boots back on and Dad and Mom headed for home with me in tow, I began a walk with Jesus that has lasted to this day. When my family and I arrived in Missouri in 1978, I became a member of Dry Creek General Baptist Church, where I was baptized under the bridge at Indian Creek in 1979. Twenty years later, in 1998, I became a member of Pomona Christian Church, where I maintain my membership today. I live in the Ozarks now. Suffice it to say, the majority of my church family are lifelong, staunch conservatives. I love those folks dearly, and many of them tolerate me. As someone who has considered Jesus Christ my personal Savior for over fifty years, I believe in doing justly, loving mercy, walking humbly with my God, and enthusiastically supporting the rights of others to walk with theirs. I believe freedom is all about personal choices. I cherish my own freedom; I make my own choices, and I passionately support the freedom and choices of others. If that makes me a liberal, so be it. I prefer to consider myself an American. SC
Friday, November 3, 2017
There’s a race in progress around the world today that we can’t afford to lose, and America is standing flatfooted at the starting line, held back by those who feel no need to participate, because they’re not invested in America. They’re only invested in themselves.
The incomparable engine that powers our economy is all but idle, rusted, and starving for fuel. Our country’s vast wealth and potential has pooled at the top and grown stagnate. The answer is not additional years of greed, robbery, self-interest, and promises of trickledown. The answer is cash flow now. It’s time to prime the pumps!
I’m not suggesting giveaways. We don’t require additional handouts to the bottom. And we certainly don’t require more tax breaks and giveaways to the top. I’m suggesting unparalleled investment, with the expectation of unparalleled growth and dividends. It’s time to put all our backs into it and grunt.
It’s time to puncture that reservoir and circulate the fuel that will get our engine running. It’s time to make hard work profitable and profits equitable for all those who do the work that make them possible. The answer is not raising wages until America is unable to compete on the world stage. The answer is to provide incentive through affordable housing, healthcare, and education, so that a person who is prepared to work for fair, equitable, and competitive wages will find those wages sufficient to meet their needs, and the businesses and corporations who employ those people can produce state of the art services and products that result in reasonable profits while remaining competitive around world.
It’s time to rebuild our infrastructure so that America is once more the envy of the world. It’s time to harness our ingenuity, creativity, workforce, and technology, and invest again in America and our people. It’s time to remember what made America great to begin with, and why the world once looked to America for leadership. It’s time to refuel our engine and get back in the race. SC
Saturday, October 28, 2017
I've been asked about the importance of faith in my daily life. Over fifty years ago, following a childhood bout with polio, I began following Christ. I did not begin my walk with Christ with any real idea of where I was going. I just set out to follow, day by day. I’m not suggesting that the entire walk’s been easy. My walk with Christ has provided countless blessings, but along the way I’ve faced struggles, I’ve sinned, and I’ve failed repeatedly. I've been beaten down, and beaten down, and beaten down. Life’s trials and tribulations would have killed me long ago, if not for a revelation: I’m not responsible for each day’s results, or my ultimate destination. I’m simply called to faithfully follow Christ, day by day, step by step, in the light each new day brings, and to share that light, should others choose to follow. I’m called to “do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God.” The God of Abraham requires no more, and no less. SC
When those about us languish in a sullen sea of doubt, and the whole world seems in anguish, and hope, nowhere about; its then faith burns most brightly with conviction’s brilliant glow, while fears retreat contritely, vanquished by the confidence we know. For our hope is not in inner strength, nor conceit at honors won. Our valor not doomed to fail at length, our victory not contingent on what we’ve done. Our joy is not reliant on some gallantry we’ve shown. We’ve no need to be compliant to some distant impropriety we’ve known. For our strength is in humility, not some valiant course we’ve trod, but in simply doing justly, loving mercy, serving God. SC
Do you hate anyone today? Let it go. Hate bigotry, ignorance, racism and intolerance. These are our enemies. Those who are eaten up and infected by these things are merely victims. Hatred only inflames conditions which mercy and compassion can relieve. SC
Saturday, October 14, 2017
We must not be enemies. Our enemy is not flesh and blood. Fear, want, and ignorance are our enemies. Bigotry, intolerance, and racism are our enemies. They must be overcome not with clenched fists and raised voices, but with the open hand of compassion, and comforting whispers. SC
Thursday, June 22, 2017
The word is out on the new alternative to health care. One would think we would become weary of forever bending over and bowing to the will of the wealthy and privileged, regardless of its devastating effects on the 99%. Remarkably, some continue to insist they thrive despite the abuse. While I question their judgment, you have to admire their veracity.
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
There are those among us who appear to believe they have found a new savior in the form of Donald Trump. As for me and my house, we still serve Christ. In doing so, we will continue to defend and protect those who are least among us, God’s magnificent planet, and all its creatures great and small. SC
Mr. Trump evidently feels that the efforts of the civilized world to preserve our planet for future generations represent an unaffordable expense. One can only assume Mr. Trump is aware of some alternative planet which will be cheaper to protect from the devastating effects his administration is having on life on earth. SC
Monday, May 29, 2017
As Christians, we’re called to “do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God”. So, as a Christian, how does one promote Christ’s life changing message with all due humility? In my humble opinion, the obedient pursuit of this commission requires not the belligerent derision and slander of the faith of others, but a gracious and amenable demonstration of the effectiveness of our own. Anything less is incompatible with God’s Word. SC
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Just as certainly as advances in technology created the information age; the abuse of that technology has created the age of misinformation. Truth is defined as a verifiable and undisputed fact, proposition or principle. Truth is not someone’s personal perversion or misinterpretation of facts, but the actual, unadulterated facts themselves. While someone’s personal perspective will affect their perception or comprehension of facts, perspective and comprehension do not change the facts. The pursuit of knowledge and truth has benefits. Adherence to the alternative to truth has consequences. SC
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
So, along with health care and public schools, now they're doing away with the Environmental Protection Agency. Its only the planet at stake. Surely they can find some alternative planet to go along with their alternative facts, their alternative truth, their alternative reality, and their alternative love of God and Creation. SC
Thursday, February 16, 2017
I’ve been following Christ, with varying degrees of success, for a long time. During that time, I’ve sent up all variety of prayers. In my experience, if you pray to receive a blessing, the results may be discouraging, but if you pray for opportunities to be a blessing, you’re rarely disappointed. SC
Monday, February 13, 2017
There are those among us who stubbornly deny reality and cling to the past. I sympathize and share your tendency. That being said, science is the observation and classification of provable facts, and denying facts is foolish and expensive. While knowledge of the past is admirable, a bright future depends on science and technology. Some see a bright and prosperous future as a result of education, while others continue to believe the world is flat. I myself am a reasoning person of faith. Cherish your faith, but not at the expense of reason. Never diminish the future in deference to the past. SC
Saturday, February 11, 2017
Thursday, February 9, 2017
I Pledge Allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America
and to the Republic
for which it stands,
one Nation under God,
with liberty and justice for all.
of the United States of America
and to the Republic
for which it stands,
one Nation under God,
with liberty and justice for all.
Under whose god, you may well ask. The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion. Unfortunately, there are those who choose to interpret these words very differently in order to support their own biases and agendas. They have entirely missed the true, original, and intended meaning of our Constitution and its very first amendment. They prefer an alternative meaning. That, in my humble opinion, is at the heart of our problem. What we have here is a failure to communicate and comprehend the basic principles of our American ideals of Liberty and Justice for all. We have citizens who passionately wave the flag and the Constitution, while entirely overlooking the very first amendment which the founders believed essential to the Republic’s success. SC
Monday, February 6, 2017
Down through the eons of time, empires, dynasties, and eminent civilizations, have achieved great heights, and then come down like the salmon leaves of autumn, brought low by the same troublesome human nature that has hobbled mankind since Cain cudgeled Abel. Learned philosophers and renowned historians have devoted their lives to the study of these events, producing ponderous, voluminous anthologies, which grace the shelves of celebrated centers of higher learning all over the world. And today, when similar behavior threatens our own aspiring metropolis, we scratch our head and wring our hands and wonder what the hell happened. I feel tremendous empathy for people as individuals. As a species, I think we’re highly overrated. The only thing we have to fear is ourselves. SC
Friday, February 3, 2017
Thursday, February 2, 2017
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
My Savior suggested we give up our jacket, walk the extra mile, forgive as often as necessary, give to any who ask, and love unconditionally. To believe and behave otherwise is not Christianity, but some alternative faith. It certainly does not reflect the American values I cherish. Turning desperate people away reflects neither Christianity nor America’s principles of liberty and justice for all. It reflects not only alternative facts, but a dark and alternative America. SC
Matthew 18:10-14New International Version (NIV)
The Parable of the Wandering Sheep
10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.  [a]
12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.”
Being human and encumbered as we are by our needy robes of flesh, we tend to approach any issue by first choosing the solution which is cheap, easy, expedient, and in our own best interests. If we profess to follow Christ, the proper solution is rarely that easy. If we truly follow Christ, we must address each and every issue by asking ourselves, what would Christ do? In almost every instance, including immigration; regardless of ethnicity, religious or partisan divides, or gender issues, the answer is the same; The Good Sheppard would shelter the lost sheep. In my humble opinion, a God-fearing government of, by, and for its people, would do likewise. SC
Saturday, January 28, 2017
Every day I see fb posts from people who say the election is over; it’s time to shut up and move on. Well, the election is over, but I still love this country and the principles that America stands for. I’m still a proud American who appreciates the sacrifices that have been made to achieve the freedom and justice we enjoy today. And I’m still a Christian who strives each day to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with my God. And I intend to continue standing up for the things I love and making my voice heard when I see those things being threatened, especially when they’re threatened by duly elected officials. SC
Thursday, January 26, 2017
Whether our President is Donald Trump or Howdy Doody, there are strings attached. The President’s authority is subject to the will of the people. Our democratic republic provides all variety of safeguards in order to assure that no branch of government, including the Executive branch, ignores the voices of our electorate. Through the access available to us through the Legislative branch, our senators and our congressmen, we the people continue to pull the strings, and are ultimately responsible for our government and its effectiveness. If our government runs amuck, we have no one to blame but ourselves. Be peaceful, civil and respectful, but be vigilant, and honor your responsibility as a citizen. This is not a time to be silent and blame others. SC
Monday, January 23, 2017
Sunday, January 22, 2017
It’s being suggested that we should wait and see. Should we wait until Social Security and all federal agencies are privatized or defunded? Should we wait until women’s rights are entirely dismantled? Should we wait until peaceful protest is criminalized? Should we wait until environmental safeguards and the planet are irreversibly devastated? Should we wait until people are denied the right to vote based on their income or ethnicity? Should we wait until the results of our elections are influenced by outside entities who share none of our American values? Should we wait until public schools are abolished? Should we wait until bigotry, intolerance and discrimination are government policy? Should we wait until health insurance is only available to the very wealthy? Should we wait until tax breaks for the 1% have drained the last dime from our economy and most Americans are homeless, hungry, desperate, and prepared to do whatever is necessary in order to feed their families? How long can we afford to wait? Truth, Justice, and The American Way have taken quite a beating, but the pursuit of liberty continues, and the dream shall never die. SC
Friday, January 20, 2017
Picture a donkey and an elephant, joined at the hip and sharing vital organs. It’s unavoidably ungainly and not particularly attractive, but it’s how democracy works. Our hope, our destiny and our challenge are to work together. Our unity is essential to our success. SC
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
We’re cautioned against consuming the contents of our Bible cafeteria style, meaning, selecting only our favorite morsels and disregarding the rest. While I don’t disagree with that admonition, the truly essential ingredient in scripture is Christ’s message of hope, faith and charity. If taken outside the context of Christ’s message of love, many scriptures can be easily misconstrued. There are far too many people in the world today who’ve been led to believe that being gut-wrenchingly conservative is essentially the same thing as following the Savior. Suffice it to say, I respectfully disagree. In my humble opinion, if your actions don’t show Christ’s compassion and mercy, best dust off your Bible, because you’re not following Christ. SC
Friday, January 13, 2017
It’s much the same dream that began in the minds and hearts of America’s Founding Fathers. It’s a vision, a hope, a goal and a passion which began to materialize when our forefathers first set foot on the shores of this remarkable country. It’s alive and well today in the hearts of many. It’s The American Dream. It’s a belief that people of every conceivable faith, origin, and ethnicity can join together and find peace, acceptance, common purpose, and strength through that diversity, and in doing so, form a government of, by, and for a people, unified by their diverse faiths and their mutual pursuit of liberty and justice for all. It’s dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Many have dedicated their lives to this proposition. It’s a proposition that a person could proudly die for. It’s the dream of a society where each and every individual has the right and the responsibility to pursue and participate in policies and practices which assure fair and equitable treatment of all their fellow citizens. It’s a vision of, not just a shining city on a hill, but an entire country where devoted citizens appreciate their own liberty, uphold and defend the liberty of others, and dedicate themselves to the great and noble task before us, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. SC