Saturday, November 26, 2011

Eureka, I found it!

"Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see." -- John Newton, "Olney Hymns." (1779). "Amazing Grace"

What once was lost, i.e., my billfold with all of my identification cards and pertinent parts of my personality, was missing this morning when I awoke.
So, I retraced my steps and rediscovered my identity.
Sometimes we foolishly fall asleep rather than trudge home.
My favorite place to take a respite is still my secret hiding spot.
So, I arose like the phoenix and went from despair to tranquillity this morning.
That's the beauty of life. One moment I was depressed and wondering, "Why, me?"
Then I used logic and traversed to my secret sleeping spot and was transformed from despair to a safe haven of regeneration.
Sometimes we take for granted the important things in life. And then when we lose them we realise how important they really are.
I was worrying about having to replace my library card, Social Security card, photo ID and then I used my little brain cells to relocate my valuables.
As one of my homeless buddies told me after he heard my story, "Everything I own is in my billfold."
Once my father said in church after he'd lost his billfold, "I lost my personality."
I'm just glad I was the first one to find what I'd lost.
Amazing grace can rejuvenate our souls in more was than one.
Thank God for his grace in our lives!


This was my lost weekend!
Not only did the Razorbacks discombobulate against LSU, but I lost my personality in the process.
In other words, I woke up this morning and my billfold was missing.
I feel like a lost soul without an identity.
Yes, I have lost my identity, including my picture ID, Social Security card, library card, credit cards. Ugh!!
As far as the Razorbacks implosion against the No. 1 LSU Tigers, there are no alibis.
You can't blame the officials. They did an excellent job.
You can't blame the death of No. 88. I think the Razorbacks played inspired football and held a 14-0 lead. But that was short lived as LSU responded and kicked our *##*.
Or as former Razorback baseball coach Norm DeBriyn always said after a loss and a sports writer might ask him about possible scenarios which included excuses, he retorted, "Excuses are like dead skunks in the road, they all stink!!"
So, I'm trying to retrace my steps and pratfalls last night and recuperate my identity.
Here's hoping the Razorbacks regroup and respond with a bowl victory.
I predict LSU plays Alabama in the national championship game. I don't like either team but am proud to be in the same SEC division. Here's hoping the SEC wins its sixth straight national championship.
Maybe next year we'll be even better and bolder and tougher.
Merry Christmas! Happy Hannukah! Happy New Year! Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


"The story upon which our Thanksgiving holiday is based is a story of Pilgrims and American Indians celebrating a feast together. Displaced Europeans migrated to a hostile new land, and with the assistance of the native people, learned to plant, harvest and hunt to survive.
"Thanksgiving was an occasion to give thanks to God, but it was every bit as much a celebration of the thanks of the newcomers to their mentors, who had served as instruments of God's grace.
"Sadly the history of American Indians in the U.S. mirrors the movement of the blessed from thankfulness to complacency. As former Europeans became more adept at developing our own networks in what soon became our nation, we became complacent about our relationship with our former friends.
"We forgot how thankful we had been that their contributions made our survival possible when we no longer worried about survival." -- The Rev. Leslie Belden, Parish associate of First United Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville.

Sadly those early settler were supplanted by greedy land grabbers.
They traded trinkets for land in New York.
They usurped land and forced the Native Americans into combative roles.
They eventually turned their hunting grounds into parking lots for their BMWs (business moguls wagons).
So, Thanks for Giving us guidance in how to survive.
Now the progenitors of those Native Americans must survive on reservations.
I have reservations about this dichotomy of diversity.
Do you have reservations for Thanksgiving dinner?
Are you sharing your provisions with any Native Americans?
Or do you go gamble at one of their casinos and give thanks to them for their teaching our ancestors to survive?
Maybe that's payback when you lose at one of their Cherokee casinos.
So, when you say your Thanksgiving prayer, say thanks to the first Native Americans for teaching the Pilgrims how to hunt, plant and harvest.
Remember your forefathers' heritage!!

What do you have to be thankful for?
A two-car garage?
A bountiful feast?
All those Occupy Northwest Arkansas may have an important message to deliver.
The 99 percent of us who struggle for survival aren't relying on Native Americans to help us in our struggle to pay our bills and purchase the necessities of life.
We're incumbent on the greed in Washington to finance trillions of war debts in Iraq and Afghanistan and the billions we owe China.
Let's just be thankful that those early Native Americans helped our forefathers and let's echo the thanksgiving that God gave us here in the USA.

Friday, November 4, 2011

SOB story

Doris Buffett, Warren E. Buffet's older sister, calls "S.O.B. gifts" -- donations that support symphonies, opera and ballet, for the wealthiest charitable givers, or checkbook philanthropy.
On the flip side, homeless, er tent campers, also are contemplating S.O.B. stories. That acronym stands for sleeping bags or blankets to stay warm and cuddly during the frigid winter upcoming.
That's in stark contrast.
The number of Americans living below the poverty line has ballooned to 46.2 million which is the highest ever since the Census Bureau began collecting such data.
Median incomes are declining and college graduates can't find jobs. The gap between the richniks and the poverty-stricken is widening at a stark dichotomous gap.
According to the New York Times, state and local governments have slashed budgets which address homelessness, school nutrition, substance abuse and a range of social services.
While many Americans always give generously to help the underprivileged, many of the wealthies have their priorities askew. They prefer to donate to building museums to house their art collections; underwrite new wings in hospitals or halls named for them at their alma maters; use their money and influence to sway public policy and influence political campaigns; or seek to solve problems in Africa rather than in their own backyards.
"At a time when America is having a debate about the social contract, philanthropy is silent," said Emmett D. Carson, chief executive of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which has assets of $2 billion. "We are silent about the depths of the problems of homelessness, joblessness, foreclosure, hunger, and people are starting to believe that philanthropy is irrelevant to the core needs of their communities."
In a more practicable scenario, William E. Conley, Jr., the billionaire co-founder of the Carlyle Group, recently told the Washington Post that he was disenchanted with giving tens of millions of dollars to nonprofits that provide food, shelter and health care to the needy.
"So much of what I do now is stopgap," Conley opined. "Somebody's hungry, we give money to the food bank. It would be far better if we had a more permanent solution."
As the tradition-rich holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, approach, everyone's heart goes out to helping the unfortunates.
There will be lavish Turkey Day dinners at churches and homeless shelters.
But still the campers must trudge through the ice and snow and snuggle up in their S.O.B.s (sleeping bagos or blankets) and endure the wintry frigidity because their is no homeless shelter available on a 24-7 basis.
Even Mary and Joseph had to go to a manger to birth the Christ child because their was no homeless shelter available.
So, while deliberating how to help the homeless this holiday season, consider the options: donate to a food bank, volunteer to help serve a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, donate clothes, sleeping bags or blankets (SOB), or maybe collaborate on a plan for a homeless shelter.
All of those benefit the less than well-to-do. But what's needed most?
A shelter!!!!!
In other words, hopefully all those woebegones will be gone if a united way is ascertained to aid and abet houselessness.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Memory lane

"Sometimes you simply have to walk through a door in your mind and lose 30 or 40 years in order to remember who you are.
"Maybe it's a self-deception...
"We are the sum total of what we have done and where we have been, and I sincerely believe that in many ways the world in which I grew up in was better than the one we live in today." -- "Black Cherry Blues" -- James Lee Burke

"Was I better off when I worked for the Wal-Mart Shoe Department from 1969-75, when Sam Walton's philosophy of 'Buy USA' included purchasing televisions from an Arkansas factory?
"Or are we better off purchasing Christmas paraphernalia made in China?
"Was I better off when the first television our family ever owned was a 20-inch black-and-white with an antenna on top of the roof which only received three channels from Little Rock, NBC, CBS and ABC?
"Or was I better off when I owned a 35-inch Mitsubishi and had Dish satellite network with 400 channels, of which I only watched maybe 25-30?
"Was I better off when I used to watch MTV videos like "Thriller"?
"Or are we better off watching reality shows on MTV, which are inane and filled with false impressions of how great our soap operish lives become once we are addicted to the idiot box and all its panache of pop garbage?
"Was Elvis Presley better off when he crooned "Jailhouse Rock" and before Col. Tom Parker entered with his grubby charlatan money-grabbing shenanigans?
"Or when Elvis finally collapsed on a toilet seat with his body and mind polluted by prescription drugs?"
So, take a trip down memory lane and prioritize what's really important.
Don't get sidetracked by all the neat stuff you own.
Look for some intrinsic valuables like peace, love and rock-'n-roll.

"Jesus pointed his finger at the people he wanted. I ain't seen noboby point at me." -- James Lee Burke, ibid.
God calls us on missions and gives us meaningful purpose in life.
Are you ready to fulfill his goals for you? Are you ready to live a purposeful life?
Just pray for guidance and he will answer.