Saturday, April 24, 2010

Thoughts on God by my son and myself

Thoughts from my son (of whom I am so proud of his creativity and intellect) on God, followed by comments by myself to him:

Dear God: it’s me, Scotticus. First off, I want to thank you for so many things -– springtime, basketball, The Sopranos, John Cusack movies -– so as not to seem overly critical. As for Earth, I love what you’ve done with the place. Your sense for drama is absolutely Scorsese-esque, especially that bit with Saddam Hussein coming out of the spider-hole with his Lyle Lovett hair and Jim Belushi demeanor:

"I wish to negotiate." Classic.

Having said that, I’ve got some pretty serious clergy-stumpers that I’d feel much better having answers to. For instance, I saw Mel Gibson’s new movie about your kid, and it got me to thinking: that was your kid. Yeah, yeah, "part God" and all, but if I have my theology right, when Deus Jr. was on the cross –- bleeding, bruised, broken -– he was flesh, blood, scooped-him-up-when-he-fell-off-his-bike human. So from there I began to wonder, was that really justice?

The way I learned it in Vacation Bible School, Jesus had to die in my place because he was perfect. For me to die wouldn’t have paid even the interest on my debt, having once lied to my mom about drawing on the furniture with permanent markers, so you called in a Holy Ringer. That’s where the logic gets muddy to me. Why am I absolved through the breaking and destruction of the only perfect human you ever made? In which part of your wonderful universe is that just?

If I saw a man murder my family, I wouldn’t sigh the great sigh of closure by seeing his sweet, elderly, Wal-Mart-greeter aunt writhe in the electric chair in his place. People point to your fourth-quarter Messiah substitution as proof positive of just how much you love us, but that doesn’t feel like justice at all; in fact it kind of makes my stomach churn.

I want to be on your team. Believe me, I love Max Lucado books as much as the next guy, and Mike Breaux can flat-out preach. Your theme songs are always catchy, and your pleasant promises of paradise take the acid-reflux out of life, but I’m not the first who needed to put his finger in the wounds to believe -– and Thomas used to fish with the guy.

I see your chosen people getting sand kicked in their face by everyone from Pharaoh to Hitler to Arafat, and that leaves me almost as dumbfounded as the fact that you have a "chosen people" to begin with.

But all digression aside, my overall point is so disturbing that I cannot be content to fully claim it without begging, pleading, even praying to be shown the light which so many insist is there; so here goes:

I think maybe you’re wrong.

Now hear me out. I know the Bible says you are infallible, but to be fair it was your book. Richard Clarke practically claims he foresaw terrorist attacks in tea leaves in his book. If I wrote one, I’d be the coolest character in it too. I’d see the future, possess a perfect sense of justice, love everyone, and be able to pull off that trick where Superman could see Lois Lane’s undies through her nightgown.

It’s not that I don’t think you are who you say you are. Evidence and instinct screams that there is a creative, even artistic force behind the universe, and I believe that force is most certainly you. But I was created with a mind capable of astounding feats of reason (in fact it is my gift just as bears have claws and puppies have cuddliness) and there are moments among your record where you and I seem to simply disagree. Remember that time when you and Moses commanded the Israelites to pike the heads of the Midianites, scolded the army for leaving the women alive, then ordered them to take the virgins -– most likely preteens -– for themselves (Numbers 31:3-18)? I wasn’t on board for that. And earlier, when you put Pharaoh up as a patsy to show off your best tricks, one of which was killing firstborn children (Exodus 10:1-2), well you left me with a little head-scratching then too. But the real rub is the crucifixion. What parent expresses love to his naughty children by nailing the one who behaves to a tree?

In the end, it’s your world. Even if you are wrong, you wrote the rules and you pick the winners. But you created this brain in my head, and if the ultimate gesture of humanity as you created it is to deny the very rationality and morality that sets me apart from the gerbils in favor of blindly following you, then I’m afraid I cannot suit up this time. Give my regards to Walter Matthou, and if I’m wrong, then I truly pray you help me piece it together before the final horn blows.

PS – Thanks again for the springtime.

I know that I can not match your wit or intellect, but I hope my faith can somehow encourage you to reach that point for yourself. From the failure of Adam to accept a single rule, the ability to choose that God gave us all invariably leads us to make wrong decisions occasionally. As much as God loves us, his holiness demands repentance and some type of sacrifice before we can have a relationship with Him again. From the time of Adam until Christ that was done with the blood sacrifice of animals. But throughout the accounts of the Old Testament, there is a coherent plan revealed for a better way. Through over 300 prophecies, all of which were fulfilled in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, God gave us the gift of salvation by simply believing and accepting the sacrifice of the perfect Lamb. That was not a punishment of a perfect, sinless being, but the gift of the Trinity, sending a part of that Trinity to bring God directly to us as a living human being for about 33 years. That being experienced an undeserved (but planned and predicted) death, but then arose, appeared to over 500 people, then returned to His place with God and sent another part of that Trinity, the Holy Spirit, to live in those who accept His reality and the sacrificial gift He gave to us. That death was not about justice, but grace, an undeserved gift. Knowing that we could never deserve, on our merits, to be in the presence of a holy God, He provided the perfect Sacrifice and asks us only to accept that gift and allow the Holy Spirit to help us to live in a way more pleasing to Him, manifested in the simple rules of loving God and loving our fellow man. Even those seemingly simple rules cannot be perfectly followed by us as humans, but the Holy Spirit gives us the help we need to continue to try. And that is all He asks of us.
I hope this helps. Read "The Shack" when you get a chance. It may help with the issue of bad things happening to innocents. Not sure about how to "Comment" other than "Anonymous", but this is from Dad with love.

The Patriot Declaration

With full credit to Mark Alexander of the Patriot Post (
Preamble to the Patriot Declaration

We are American Patriots, defenders of First Principles and Essential Liberty.

We are Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and public servants standing in harm's way at home and around the world, who are loyal, first and foremost, to our revered oath to support and defend our Constitution.

We are grassroots leaders and local, state and national officeholders who, likewise, honor our sacred oath.

We are mothers, fathers and other family members nurturing the next generation of young Patriots.

We are farmers, craftsmen, tradesmen and industrial producers. We are small business owners, service providers and professionals in medicine and law. We are employees and employers. We are in ministry at home and missionaries abroad. We are students and professors at colleges and universities, often standing alone for what is good and right.

We are consumers and taxpayers.

We are voters.

We are not defined by race, creed, ethnicity, religion, wealth, education or political affiliation, but by our devotion to our Creator, and the liberty He has entrusted to us, one and all.

We are Patriot sons and daughters from all walks of life, heirs to the blessings of Liberty bequeathed to us by our Patriot Forebears, confirmed in the opinion that it is our duty to God and Country to extend that blessing to our posterity, and avowed upon our sacred honor to that end. We are vigilant, strong, prepared and faithful.

Patriot Declaration

We the People, blessed with the inheritance of Liberty paid for with the lives and fortunes of Patriots before us, hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, that to secure these Rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, and that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.

WHEREAS, our nation is at a critical historic juncture, where we must choose between Rule of Law and rule of men; and

WHEREAS, our nation is confronting significant political threats to Liberty from within our borders and from enemies abroad; and

WHEREAS, our national Constitution is the singular guidance for Rule of Law and the defense of liberty; and

WHEREAS, our Constitution's Article VI Section 1 stipulates, "The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution…" but the majority of those aforementioned have forsaken their oath to support and defend our Constitution, placing the future of American Liberty at great peril;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, We the People of these United States, in order to restore a more perfect Union, re-establish Justice, re-insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, pledge to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, as established at great cost in lives and treasure by our Founders and defended by generations since, and we demand that those in the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of our national government likewise honor their oaths, and commit to undertake the following actions to restore constitutional integrity and Rule of Law:

FIRST, that constitutional authority be established for any national legislation entered before Congress, by way of an Enumerated Powers Amendment, requiring specific authority enumerated in our Constitution empowering Congress to enact such legislation, thus ensuring that such legislation does not amend the plain language of our Constitution, which prescribes its own method for amendment in Article V;

SECOND, that said Amendment require that all legislation explicitly cite its compliance with the Tenth Amendment to our Bill of Rights, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people," thus prohibiting the central government from usurping the powers reserved to the States or the People;

THIRD, that said Amendment require all legislation and regulation imposed upon the nation apply equally to all members of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government;

FOURTH, that fiscal responsibility be enumerated in our Constitution by way of a Balanced Budget Amendment, including zero base-line accounting principles, to be put before the states and the people;

FIFTH, that said Amendment contain a provision requiring a three-fifths majority of votes by members of Congress to raise direct or indirect taxes, and acknowledgment that the legislature has no authority to raise taxes for purposes that are not expressly authorized by the Constitution;

SIXTH, that said Amendment contain a provision that direct taxes be levied at an equal ratio to all Americans, ensuring that the cost-burden of government is shared equally by all, and consistent with Article I, Section 9, which provides "No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed" which would unduly single out individuals or minority groups for undue punishment;

SEVENTH, that said Amendment contain a provision that the withholding of taxes by an employer is the option of the taxpayer;

EIGHTH, that said Amendment acknowledge the interdependence of economic freedom and political freedom by provision that any bill before Congress must enumerate its implications against the exercise of free enterprise;

NINTH, that a Legislature Accountability Amendment to establish term limits for all members of Congress, similar to that of the 22nd Amendment, Section 1, limiting terms for the Executive, be put before the states and the people; and,

TENTH, because Rule of Law, established through the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God, entitles the People to unalienable Rights including Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, and severely limits the government from any infringement upon those rights, then any member of the Executive, Legislative or Judicial branch in violation of the Rule of Law established through our Constitution is subject to impeachment and criminal prosecution.

THUS, be it known that for the support of this Declaration in defense of the Rule of Law established by our Constitution, it is, with firm reliance upon the protection of divine Providence, that we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Sign The Patriot Declaration

Fellow Patriots, throughout history the burden of ensuring that the flame of liberty burns bright has fallen upon the shoulders of a few patriotic men and women. But as Founding Patriot Samuel Adams noted, "It does not take a majority to prevail ... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men."

Through this Declaration, we, the tireless minority, publicly deliver hope and inspiration to our countrymen and, indeed, the world, and we send a message to those who have forsaken their oaths to support and defend our Constitution, who have abandoned Rule of Law for selfish pursuits: Don't Tread on Us, or you will surely suffer the consequences.

Why I Carry a Gun

Why I Carry a Gun.....

My old grandpa said to me, "Son, there comes a time in every
man's life when he stops bustin' knuckles and starts bustin' caps
and usually it's when he becomes too old to take an ass whoopin'."

I don't carry a gun to kill people.
I carry a gun to keep from being killed.

I don't carry a gun to scare people.
I carry a gun because sometimes this world can be a scary place..

I don't carry a gun because I'm paranoid.
I carry a gun because there are real threats in the world.

I don't carry a gun because I'm evil.
I carry a gun because I have lived long enough to see the evil in the world.

I don't carry a gun because I hate the government.
I carry a gun because I understand the limitations of government.

I don't carry a gun because I'm angry.
I carry a gun so that I don't have to spend the rest of my life hating myself for failing to be prepared.

I don't carry a gun because I want to shoot someone.
I carry a gun because I want to die at a ripe old age in my bed, and not on a sidewalk somewhere tomorrow afternoon.

I don't carry a gun because I'm a cowboy.
I carry a gun because, when I die and go to Heaven, I want to be a cowboy.

I don't carry a gun to make me feel like a man.
I carry a gun because men know how to take care of themselves and the ones they love.

I don't carry a gun because I feel inadequate.
I carry a gun because unarmed and facing three armed thugs, I am inadequate.

Personally, I carry a gun because I'm too young to die and too old to take an ass whoopin'. unknown (but obviously brilliant)

Remember the average response time to a 911 call is over 4 minutes.

The average response time of a 357 magnum is 1400 feet per second.

2010 Spring Turkey Season

2010 Spring Turkey Season

Opening Day – April 17, 2010

After taking off the first 4 days of the 2010 Spring Turkey Season, my plans for an intense few days of hunting the wild turkey got partially derailed. Our church has an annual Youth Auction fundraising event which is the major fundraiser for our children and youth summer camps. I have always enjoyed supporting those activities with both donations for the auction, and sometimes even buying items of interest as well. This year the Auction fell on the evening of the opening day of Spring Turkey Season. I knew that I would have to break up my hunting in order to continue to support the Auction, and made up my mind to do so.
Having a place to hunt near home is always a challenge. This year several weeks before the season, a friend at church who farms not too far from our home mentioned seeing a lot of turkeys on his farm. I immediately asked if he would consider letting me hunt there. He responded that his farm was leased to a couple of deer hunters, but they never hunt turkeys, so he saw no reason that I could not turkey hunt there. A few days before the hunt, I visited his farm and he showed me around. As an added bonus, I got quite a history lesson as the farm had been in his family since Nelson County was settled in the late 18th century. The spot looked promising, so I filed that away as a place I could go.
Then, two days before opening day, a good friend, Danny Raisor, who has a nice farm on which he manages for trophy deer, but also has a nice turkey population, asked me if I would like to come hunt with him opening morning. Having hunted there before, and knowing the prospects with more certainty than the previous offer, I accepted. I met Danny and another friend, Scott Turner, at about 5:45 AM at the farm. After a few moments of pleasantries, Danny searching for his camo shirt, and revealing that he did not have any turkey loads for his shotgun, my providing a couple of extra shells I had with me, we decided where everyone was going for the morning hunt and got on our way.
Even though we arrived at the farm in plenty of time, by the time all the above took place and I was on my way, it was already light enough to see well. I was sure I was at least 15 minutes too late getting to my assigned spot, in addition to having to walk through an open field, set up my decoys and get myself situated in a blind. Then soon after getting set up, I began to hear gobbling. All of the gobbles I heard seemed to be at a great distance and off the property I was hunting. Then, not long after hearing a few toms, I began to hear shooting. Not a lot, but three or four shots, most distant, but one sounding very close. By this time, I am thinking every gobbler in my vicinity is on the run and on high alert.
I was eager to try out two new calls, a loud tube call for locating gobblers, and a wingbone call I had made myself from the wing bones of a turkey I had killed last year. Before leaving the cabin that morning some of my calling enthusiasm was dampened by a comment from Danny telling us to definitely not do a lot of loud calling as he did not want the birds to become too educated and call shy early in the season. That ruled out my new tube call! Over the next hour and a half, I did try my wingbone call, a slate, and a mouth diaphragm, but limited my calling to purrs and clucks. None of my calls seemed to elicit any direct response.
About 8:00 AM, I heard some nearby clucks, then saw two heads in front of my blind. Soon after their appearance, I detected short stubby beards of about 2-3 inches on each. These two jakes (one year old males) hung around for several minutes. While the jakes were near my blind, nature began to call producing a tremendous need to void and have a bowel movement. With the jakes there, I did not want to move and alert them or anything else in the vicinity to my presence. As my discomfort mounted, I saw two toms out in the field about 150 yards away. Using my wingbone call, I got their attention and they began to come my way. As they approached, they went out of sight in a depression in the field, so I lost track of their movements. Soon, I did see a fan and then some heads above the grass to my left and could tell they were approaching my decoys. I eventually saw three gobblers, all with adult beards, and with occasional spreading of their fans.
The gobblers would come in and out of my sight as they moved around beyond the tall grass. I thought everything was falling into place as they approached, but suddenly they turned toward the woods behind me. I could tell they had clearly altered their path and rather than continuing to approach my decoys in front of my blind, they seemed to be leaving. I quickly found one head and neck above the grass and fired. To my amazement, FIVE other gobblers flew off at the shot. It reminded me of a covey of quail flushing! In addition, about 100 yards in front of my blind and out of sight until I stood up, another gobbler which I had seen fly across the lower portion of the field was still in the field and apparently very unsure of what was going on up my way. The bird I had shot lay still where I had shot him 26 yards from my blind. Once I was certain that he was no longer moving, nature's call became overwhelming and would not be denied! Thank goodness I carry wet wipes with me when hunting!
None of the gobblers that had approached had gobbled. Some had briefly and intermittently displayed their fans, but none truly strutted. Did they come to my calls, my decoys, or were they just on a stroll through the neighborhood? I would like to think that my calling at least got them into the neighborhood, even if it did not bring them directly in front of me. The hunt still ended successfully with a dead gobbler. My bird was probably a three year old with spurs of 1 1/8 in. and a beard of 11 ¼ in. All this transpired before 8:40 AM and my opening day hunt had ended quite successfully. I had plenty of time to remove the turkey's breast, wing bones, beard and spurs, clean up, relax and prepare to get to the Youth Auction. The pressure is off for the Spring Turkey season of 2010. One bird is down and several days available over the next three weeks to get my second turkey!