Christmas Eve Eve

December 24, 2016 - Leave a Response

img_5446

 

Well, here we are. As I write this, it is 15 minutes until Christmas Eve, so this is still Christmas Eve Eve. Best time of the year and, if you follow this blog, you know I love living in western Pennsylvania, especially from September first until New Years Day.

It’s just so beautiful, and this year there has been lots of snow, and although it is getting warmer, there will be snow on the ground for tomorrow night, Christmas Eve.

There’s just a special, almost magical feeling on Christmas Eve. There is the thrill of the celebration of the birth of Christ. I know that nobody knows when Jesus was born, but it’s the celebration. It’s the realization that God Himself came to earth, took on human form and becoming 100% man while still being 100% God. Immanuel, God with us.

I love the giving spirit behind this. The anticipation of children. Haniah is 3 1/2, is well aware that Santa is coming but realizing it’s also the birth of Jesus that we celebrate. I have Christian friends that do not celebrate Christmas, and my thoughts are, why wouldn’t we celebrate the birth of the Savior of the World?

Church on Christmas Eve is my favorite. All my brothers and sisters in Christ gathered together to worship the King of the world. The music, the companionship, the shaking of hands, hugs, and kisses on cheeks. The realization that this day celebrates the one thing us believers all have in common…..Jesus Christ is Lord.

This time of year I think of the importance of Christ’s birth. I was always amazed as a child that there would be a ceasefire in the Vietnam War during Christmas. Amazing. People trying to kill each other in the name of their governments would stop and take a day or two of peace. All because of Christ Jesus.

People being nicer to each other. But I’ve noticed the election has brought out the worst in people, particularly this season. There is no forgiveness, no tolerance to opposing views, and love is hard to find. People who think differently than others are bigots, racists, stupid, and more.

But that’s where we come in. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Not for peace with each other, but peace with God. We were enemies of God because of our sin and our falling away from God. But when we realize that the One who’s birth we celebrate in two days also is the one who died for our sins, then we find peace with God.

We celebrate that Christ took us, totally not worthy, and made us worthy. No other religion has a God that died for us. No other religion has a Father who sacrificed His own Son. No other religion has grace for our sins.

This Christmas is remarkable. The joy in little one’s eyes as they wait for the day. The joy of giving to loved ones and the joy in giving to those in need. The joy we have in knowing that we will have eternal life with other believers, if truly ourselves, we are believers.

For so long it’s been politically incorrect to say “Merry Christmas”. But there appears to be a renewed Spirit in this land. “Merry Christmas” is welcomed. And in some places, Christ is even welcomed back. He’s always been welcomed in my home. Hopefully, someday, He will be welcomed back to the United States. At least that’s what I pray.

Merry Christmas.

273.6/257.0

Bucket List

December 12, 2016 - One Response

img_4610

 

It’s funny but recently people have been posting on Facebook and even talking at work about having a “Bucket List”. It intrigued me as I thought about it because I realized I don’t have a bucket list. I used to have a bucket list when I felt certain things were important, but realize now that they’re not that important. It’s not that I “don’t have” a bucket list now, but rather I “don’t need or want” a bucket list.

I look at my life and think, “what do I want to do or where do I want to go before I kick the bucket”? The answer is nothing and nowhere.

I guess that makes me an odd kind of creature, but in analyzing it all, its because of a couple things. First,  I think that the Apostle Paul had it right when he said, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content”. (Phil. 4:11). I feel good about that. I guess I’m content.

Second, whatever God has planned for me is ok with me, either plenty or lack. The things I really want to do and go to are whatever God has planned for me to do or go to. It’s all in the Lord’s hands. See, because the things I want to see and places I want to go are all up to what God wants of me.  Let me explain.

I want to see Benny married. I want to see my grandchildren. All of them. I want to dance at their weddings. I want to help them with their homework. Have them call me when their mommy or daddy is “mean” to them. I want to see them at their prom. I want to take them to McDonald’s, take them fishing, see the Yankees or Browns play, walk with them at Buhl Park.

I want to play in the snow with them. Walk on the beach with them,  whether it’s Lake Erie or Maui. Lay in the grass with them at night and count all the stars and tell them that God has given all of them a name. I want to teach them that their really is a heaven and Jesus is the only way to get there, and when “Bapa” is gone, they will be with me there.

I want to teach them about God. His faithfulness and His purpose He has for their lives. I want to teach them to honor their parents, be a good sport when they lose, be a graceful winner when they win. Teach them that there is nothing more important than following God, finding out about Him, studying His Word,

I want to teach them about purity, that celibacy isn’t just a good idea, but it’s following God’s laws. Teach them that the teachings of this world about right and wrong most likely don’t line up with the Word of God. Teach them that their secular teachers and professors aren’t as smart as they think. Show them about respecting and loving spouses, fighting through tough times, and enjoying the good times.

I want to teach them that alcohol doesn’t make you braver and drugs don’t make you cooler. Swearing doesn’t make you distinguished, smoking is a stupid habit, and faithfulness is all that God asks of us.

I want to explain to them that Bob Dylan is a literary genius and he was the best songwriter of their grandfather’s lifetime, that the Beatles are the best band ever, and that it’s ok to be different.

See if this is a bucket list, then this bucket list isn’t about going or doing, but it’s about being. I want to live. A quiet, peaceful, life that causes no harm to anyone. I want to positively impact my grandchildren’s lives.

I watched “Elf” with all my kids and their spouses and my grandchildren tonight. I don’t think I could ask for anything more than that. I’m perfectly content with my life and in need of nothing.

Although seeing a World Series game with Ben in Yankee Stadium would be pretty cool.

273.6/257.3

War (What is it Good For?)

November 12, 2016 - Leave a Response

img_4610Well hasn’t this election been crazy? The campaigning seemed longer than most wars. I’m particularly glad that the advertisements are off the television. I’m glad we’re moving on with life………oh wait.

People decided they didn’t like the democratic process, so, as the Doobie Brothers put it, they’re “taking it to the streets”. Riots. Damaging cars and stores. Because. They. Lost. The. Election. Think about that for a moment.

They’re not rioting because the poor aren’t being fed, the veterans can’t get services, the homeless are sleeping on the street. It’s because. They. Lost. The. Election.

I got to admit, I never cried when the candidate I wanted didn’t win. I remember though, being 12 and crying when Bobby Kennedy was assassinated.  I had great hope for him. But I mourned a death, not a lost election. OK, I’m old, so humor me and answer me this question?

What the heck is wrong with this generation? Cornell University had a “cry in”. Seriously, a “cry in”. Students who couldn’t handle that Hillary lost, all met together and cried. Now wait, there’s more. The school gave them chalk so they could write their feelings on the sidewalks. I’m talking COLLEGE kids, not elementary school kids who had their crush move to another school, but this is college age students.

So a couple schools made tests “optional” because how distraught the students were that their candidate lost. Seriously. The phrase “Nutty Professor” is making more and more sense. What is wrong with these kids? But its not just the kids.

Adults, on Twitter, hoping someone would assassinate Trump. A black woman tweeted about how a “brother ought to take one for the team” and kill Trump. This is the tolerant, kind hearted, liberal people who feel Trump is going to “destroy the country” while they are burning buildings and cars? Does anyone see the absurdity of all that?

When I was a teen, I got involved in a campaign to have a Lt. Kelly be released from going to trial. His crime was during the Viet Nam war, he killed innocent people because of orders given to him. He did kill them, no doubt. But he was under order to. I started a petition in high school, got hundreds of signatures to release him and to arrest the commanding officers who ordered this. My teachers thought I was crazy, and my friends were stumped why I, a long haired hippie, would support a soldier instead of being against the war. I just felt it was the right thing to do. I sent it to President Nixon. I never heard anything, he must of been busy. Did you know he was a Quaker? Quakers are against war of any kind. I guess we can say he wasn’t a very good Quaker.

I hated the war. It was long already, but back in 1973, it was winding down. Nixon ended the war and the draft. I don’t care about Watergate. He ended the draft. Thank you “Tricky Dick”.

The war made no sense. (I say this with the realization that some wars do make sense). I knew people that came back in a box. People came back horribly addicted. Some people came back with mental problems as well as physical issues  because of “Agent Orange”, a chemical we used that ended up hurting our soldiers.

I was 18, not ready to run through the jungles of Viet Nam or Cambodia and try not to die. I couldn’t imagine how different I would have been if I went. For those who went, I salute you. You are better men than me. But as Billy Joel said in his liner notes for “Goodnight Saigon”, a terrific song of the fear and horror of Viet Nam, “To those of you that didn’t go to Viet Nam, you didn’t miss anything”.

But I didn’t loot or riot. I didn’t want to kill the president. I didn’t want to go, though. I wanted to stay home and listen to the George Harrison, Moody Blues and Dylan. Heck if Muhammed Ali could avoid the war, I could (although he went to jail for awhile). To this day I don’t know if I’d had gone or went to Canada like all the liberal Hollywood liars said they’d go if Trump won, but are still here. I honestly was a scared kid who didn’t want to die.

So, yes, I was young once. And as far as I remember, I was against a lot of things, but I never rioted to make a point. I guess my parents were better parents than I thought. I was raised better than these college kids, I guess. Values do that.

 

273.6/258.4

Walking To 199

August 7, 2016 - One Response

IMG_4475

 

As those that follow this blog know, this whole blog started with the intent to show this amazing progress I’d be making in my goal to get below 200 pounds. A lofty goal, realizing I needed to shed around 75 pounds to achieve this task. This is a long walk, apparently.

Over the months, and probably years, I’ve had ups and downs (puns intended) in the walk as well as in the blogging. My goal was to blog weekly, but it appears I’ve blogged weakly (another horrific pun. Sorry).

My blogs about weight seem self serving, so I’ve been thinking that maybe not so much about this struggle of losing weight should be focused on, but matters of life and sometimes death. Or sometimes just random thoughts rattling through this puny brain of mine.

With this being said, I feel that for me to say “I’m going to do this or that” to lose weight, whether its exercise or diet or whatever, is a lot of talk. I’m encouraged by some of you, and I thank you, and some of you are faithful followers whom I have shared my secrets and some humor. OK, I think its humor.

I will continue to blog, but because some have asked me how the weight is going, I will be listing my starting weight and my current weight at the end of the blog (starting weight/current weight). This, so those who are interested will note the progress, but not to bore others that have little interest in weight loss and may be a bit intrigued by my weirdness. (For example, the rule is “i before e except after c”. Except for the word “weird”. Weird is a weird word).

I may sometimes mention something about weight, but not to be a “wow, look how wonderful I am doing. Send me cookies”. I continue to hope that you find these entertaining, enlightening, or encouraging. There may be some Scriptural or spiritual references as Christ is the biggest part of my life, and I’m not ashamed of that.

I will try to be more regular (at my age, again, not easy) with the blogs to hopefully bring some joy in a dark time of history. Let me say that we have to stop the hate. The media wants us divided, black against white, gay against straight, Republican against Democrats, and so forth. Can’t we all get along?

Until then, I’ll just keep walking.

273.6/257.4

Merely Mortal

July 26, 2016 - 2 Responses

IMG_4449

 

It’s been a strange couple weeks. Not “strange” as it being odd, but “strange” in being eye opening. So maybe the word shouldn’t be “strange”, but instead, “enlightening”.

First, since it’s been awhile, I have a new granddaughter, Selah Hope, who I absolutely adore. I now have three grandchildren, two granddaughters and a grandson, whom I love in a way that I didn’t know was possible for me to love. It’s like loving your kids, only different. A lot different. Hard to explain it, but its like God opens up a new part of your heart to have these little munchkins inhabit. Beyond words.

With that being said, two weeks ago Bonnie, my wife of 31 years, was hospitalized with chest pains. I was called to where she works and told she was having pain. Now my wife is a daughter of a nurse, and unless you’re dying, you don’t go to the hospital. I tell you, it was the scariest thing I’d been through. She was pale and weak. So off to the hospital we go.

They ran tests, labs, x-rays, CT Scans, the works. They decided to keep her overnight for observation. My wife, to say the least, is a very poor patient. She was in the hospital bed with a gown, refusing to take off her pink scrubs from work, and wearing her tennis shoes! I told her to take her pants off and stay in bed and she tells me there is no need for that. She believed that there was no reason for her to be in the hospital, and that the Lord had her there to pray for people. That, in a nutshell, is my wife.

It was discovered that she had a leaky valve in her heart, and that she has to wear a heart monitor for a month. Now, it’s been over 90 degrees for a week and a half and will continue to be that way, and we are helping my daughter and son-in-law move into a new home. She had no intention of  doing this heart monitor thing, however, our doctor is the sweetest woman we know, so she wouldn’t fight her. So here we are with that.

Last week, the young Princess (that’s what I call Selah), was running a fever of 101.8. She was three weeks old and the doctor told my daughter to take her to the ER. So it’s 2 in the morning, and Jo Jo, Selah, and I are in the ER. They ran tests, took blood, and I admit, was horrible to watch. The poor thing was poked and prodded, and trying to get blood from a three week old was very, well, trying.

They could find nothing wrong, but decided that they needed her to go to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, and by ambulance as her fever wasn’t coming down, and a three week old shouldn’t be having a fever. So I go home to be with the Princess (Haniah, Selah’s three year old sister) while mom and dad go to Pittsburgh. It was a crazy week.

They took tests, x-rays, couldn’t get blood so tried a vein in her head, and the nurses said that Selah was one tough girl. They were testing for meningitis and other things. She was hospitalized 4 days and mom and day got to stay at Ronald McDonald House, which is a fantastic place that parents utilize to stay close to their kids while they’re hospitalized. I will not rush by the donation requests for the Ronald McDonald House at my local McDonalds anymore..

Needless to say, all came back well, and it was a virus. Thank God for that.

These two incidents brought me face to face with the blunt reality that we are all mortal. We have a beginning and an end. From my wife to my granddaughter, thoughts of the reality of the end of life smacked me in the face. What would I do if something happened to Bonnie? Or Selah? Or, actually, anyone in my family. Are we ready for this?

I’m 60 and realize that things happen as we get older. This past month also saw my blood pressure getting out of control, and have been monitoring it closely with slight adjustments to meds. I’ve been walking nearly every day, but that is no guarantee, although helpful. of a longer life. Bonnie’s Uncle Ron, who is the most fit man in his age group (early 70’s) that I know, was hospitalized with a blood clot. It could have killed him.

There will come a day of reckoning for all of us. Some sooner than others. It is with this thought in mind that I wonder if I’m doing enough for God. I wonder if there is more I should be doing. I know God loves me no matter what I do, but what do I do that shows God how much I love Him? Do I love my fellow man and woman? Do I care at all for the poor? Am I self-centered or Christ-centered?

As I reflect on these, I realize that all that matters is that at the end, Christ will say ‘well done, My good and faithful servant’. My goal now, is to make sure that all I do is for Him, not for me.

I’m finding that it is hard to do. I’m finding that I am merely mortal, and it’s God’s grace alone that compels me to do good. To serve. To love.

I think I woke up.

‘Merica

July 6, 2016 - Leave a Response

IMG_4151

With Independence Day passing, it got me to thinking and, frankly, worried.

Are you familiar with Operation Northwoods? I wasn’t either until I watched a documentary on the History Channel. It talked of The US Government’s plan in 1962 to deceive the American people by killing it’s own citizens so that the country would back a war with Cuba.

It called for the Central Intelligent Agency (CIA) or other U.S. government operatives to commit acts of terrorism against military targets and American citizens, and blaming it on the Cuban government, and using it to justify a war against Cuba. The proposals were rejected by the Kennedy Administration. it was authorized by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but then rejected by President John F Kennedy. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Northwoods) .

Can you imagine the United States planting false flags to get public backing for a war? What is a false flag? A false flag is a covert operation intended to deceive in such a way that the operations appear as if they are being carried out by groups or nations other than those who actually planned and executed them.

That’s a crazy thought, isn’t it? The fact that our country would even THINK that it was morally right to attack their own citizens and blame it on another country just to get into a war is ludicrous, isn’t it? Well, apparently not.

Lately I’ve been concerned about the corruption of our government and also the corruption and deceit by the DOJ, FBI, the president, as well as the main stream media. The plan of turning the U.S. into a third world nation or a weak socialist nation like Europe is well underway. And it’s not just one party, it’s the whole system.

The fact that this idea had reached the point where it was sent to the president for approval has me thinking of what’s going on today. Corruption was evident in the 1960 election when more votes were “discovered” in Chicago, which is the center of corruption. Kennedy won narrowly. Also the voting in 2000 was all questionable.  (remember “hanging chads”?). So questions abound.

Who knew what, prior to Sept. 11, 2001? Certainly the government wouldn’t permit such an action to draw us into a ridiculous war or two in the Middle East, would they? I never used to ask that question, but now I do.

Remember, a false flag is to get public support for an action the government wants to do.  We didn’t have a reason to enter WW II as the public was not supportive, even with what was going on in Europe. My professor at PSU, Len Riforgiato, wrote a book describing how he believed that the U.S. drew Japan into bombing Pearl Harbor so that the public would support going to war.When you see how the planes were strategically lined up and how it would be impossible to move them out more than one at a time when the bombs fly. Also, there was a radio warning of planes coming and the message was never relayed. Interesting.

I can honestly say, particularly after the Hilary fiasco that they let her slide on, that I don’t trust this government. The government has purposely altered 911 calls so that the man who shot up the gay club in Orlando would not be identified as a Muslim. It wasn’t until someone filed a complaint regarding the Freedom of Information act, and the tape was played where he swore allegiance to Isis. But instead, they want to come after our guns.

How about those presidential primaries? Wasn’t it exciting to learn that your vote doesn’t even count, that the delegates can basically vote for whomever they want, whether you voted for them or not? What a wonderful democracy.

Has George Carlin been right all this time? He’s said a lot of things, and I’m thinking he was pretty right on. He said, “Governments don’t want a population capable of critical thinking. They want obedient workers, people just smart enough to run the machines and just dumb enough to passively accept their situation.”

He goes on: ” I got this real moron thing I do, it’s called thinking, and I’m not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions….I have certain rules I live by. My first rule, I don’t believe anything the government tells me….and I don’t take very seriously the media or the press in this country”.

Here’s where I’ve come to with almost 61 years of living. I will salute my flag, and I will support our troops who fight for us. I’ve realized that I love my country.

It’s the government I’m not too fond of. At all.

 

 

 

 

 

Step By Step

June 1, 2016 - Leave a Response

So I’ve been going back and forth regarding what to do about this weight issue. Part of me REALLY cares and other times not so much. Part of me thinks I’d like to continue this walk to 199 and another part thinks that as long as my numbers are good, what’s the difference.

Well, I’m back at it again, giving it another shot. Weight was 268.0 today, I’ve been worse, but been better. I think I mentioned I’ve had some issues with my shoulder and am getting treatment for that. I used that as an excuse not to walk. Like I need an excuse.

I’ve discovered that mileage and time was stressing me out when I walked. It was not fun. I would walk so fast (at least fast for me) and it was difficult to talk with Bonnie, who was faster than me, because of being out of breath. So, we decided to walk at a “decent” pace, which I recommend. Also, the mileage thing has been replaced in regards to goals. When we walk we go from 2.25 to 3+ miles, but what I’ve been doing, although I still use the “Map My Walk” app, I have found that there is an app on my I-Phone that counts my steps.

Now I live a pretty sedentary lifestyle. I’m a pastor/counselor. I spend much time sitting in counseling and preparing my sermons, so activity isn’t the foremost of my existence. So I walk. Now I’m told that a person needs 10,000 steps a day. For a sedentary guy like me, it might as well be a million. So I had set goals of 7000 to start with and am up to 8000, and if the walking continues, should get to 9-10,000 easily. When I don’t walk, well, here’s some stats.

Without my taking a walk, here are some days totals of steps in a day: 3,045; 1,686; 2,823, 2,402, etc. No wonder the weight doesn’t come off. But on a day like today (5/31) where I walked 2.29 miles, I achieved 9,152 steps and that was with me working today counseling! So, I’m trying to go with taking steps, walking toward that 199, step by step, day by day. Because I don’t walk daily like I was, I’m sore and weak.

I realized that Christianity is like this. Sometimes, a few days may go by without my devotions, so then I spend 2-3 hours to make up for it. Well, that’s not good.

Christianity needs to be a walk, a daily walk with Christ. Not a sprint then three days off. Some of the days it feels like I walked 2000 steps with Christ, then do a 10,000 step day, then the next day or two under 4000. So I’ve decided to come to Christ step by step also. It’s the only way to get strength. If not, then I get sore and weak.

So those trying to lose weight, take it step by step. And those who are walking with Christ, walk Him step by step also. It’s easier to keep up with Him when you’re walking with Him daily.

Funeral For a Friend

April 16, 2016 - One Response

DonCharisma.org-Fisherman's-Sunset-1L

Yesterday was the funeral for my friend Lecie. If you saw my previous blog, she is Amanda’s mom. The service was lovely, the day was beautiful, and it was the chance for goodbye. Here’s why I think open caskets and showings are necessary, whenever possible.

Now, I’m a firm believer in closure. It’s important, I think that a person should be able to close any and all situations. Life doesn’t always do that, but I think it needs to be done when possible. Cremation doesn’t do that if it is done in place of a showing. If the cremation is done without a viewing of the body, it doesn’t give the grievers a chance to bring closure with that person.

If the family is for it and they get to see the body, and they’re ok with cremation, then that’s fine, as the family gets to see the body at rest. Or if one chooses to cremate after the showing, that’s the family’s choice. So, I’m not knocking cremation and people are certainly entitled to do as they please. I just think that the viewing of the body  gives the viewer’s senses  a reality of the passing of that person. A final touching of the hand, kiss on the forehead, a heartfelt goodbye. Even a note tucked away in the casket.

So it was with Lecie yesterday. A closure. A temporary goodbye. Why temporary?

When one is with Christ, a servant of His, then eternal life is the reward. He promises to wipe away all tears and dry all eyes and there will be no more crying. (Rev. 21:4). So as Lecie is in the presence of the mighty Christ, so we will be too, if we’ve placed our lives into His hands.

Christ is the Savior of the world. Without Him there is no hope. Because of Christ, Lecie will be seen again by those who know Christ. How glorious. The pastor yesterday said that a great way to honor Lecie is to come to the saving knowledge of Christ.  How pleased would she be if even one, only one, person came to know Christ personally because of her death? Maybe it’s you?

Maybe you haven’t fully committed to Christ as Lord and Savior. Maybe you’ve put your toe in the water and you’re not sure you want to step in. Any moment could be your last chance. And it won’t be an ending, but a beginning.

Will you come to Christ?  If you do though, Lecie will be waiting for you.

 

The Art of Dying (An Ode to Lecie)

April 11, 2016 - 4 Responses

20130618-093630.jpg

 

It’s a sad day today. My daughter-in-law Amanda’s mother died today, Lecie Cargould. She is four years younger than me. There were some complications, but physically, she was in better shape than me. She was a wonderful lady that I truly liked. They’re a great family.

Death is a great equalizer. No matter how rich, poor, cute, ugly, sane, crazy, conservative, or liberal, we all end up in the same box. I think death is one of the hardest things to deal with, because as I tell people during grief counseling, the death of a loved one changes your life without your permission.

I remember my dad telling me that the death of a spouse is harder than the death of a parent because the spouse you have is who you chose. I imagine that may be true. But the death of a close family member can be awful.

I remember being out with Bonnie after we buried my mother, and we were sitting at Perkin’s ordering dinner. I looked around and everybody was living their lives the same as the day before, laughing or joking, sometimes just reading or smoking (you could smoke INSIDE places 30 years ago). I remember looking around and thinking, ‘my life has just been crushed, and these people just go about their way’.  And I was so sad. And now it’s 30 years later.

I have done more funerals than weddings. I’ve done my father, mother-in-law, cousins, friends, and acquaintances. I have done the funerals of strangers, which is very difficult to make personal. Especially if I don’t know if they knew of Christ, and salvation through His blood.

Sadness comes because of us not seeing that person on earth anymore. I had asked Bonnie, ‘when was the last time we saw Lecie?’. Then we realized, it was the very last time we saw her. There will not be another time on this earth.

Ah, but our hope goes beyond this earth. I know I will see her  as will her husband Barry, and her two daughters, Becca and Amanda. That is the hope we have in Christ. The knowledge that this current life ends here, but our eternal life begins at death. Lecie is in good hands, the best hands, the saving hands of God. There will be a time when we’re all gathered together, all of us that know Christ, and we will meet friends and relatives who have preceded us in death. And we will be so happy. It will be so good to see Lecie again, fully well.

And how nice when her one year old grandson, Zeke, will walk up to her and say, “NOW I remember you”.

 

The Sound of Silence

April 8, 2016 - Leave a Response

20130618-093630.jpg

 

I’ve just recently discovered a song by “Disturbed” (no, not my favorite band as actually I wasn’t familiar with them) shared by my son Luke. It’s a remake of “The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel. Now I am told “Disturbed” is a screamer band, and they didn’t scream this one. It is phenomenal. Here’s why I like it, maybe even better than the original.

It’s an angry song. A protest song.And Dan Draiman sings it like an angry protest song.  Not so much of a war that was raging (it was written in 1964), but how their voice was not getting heard. Nobody was listening to them. And by them, I mean us, my generation. We had a president who was young and for the youth, and he was murdered. A war was increasing. Hopelessness for young people set in. A war that drafted us to go there, whether we wanted to or not. We were angry.

Nobody listened? We got drunk or high. And nobody seemed to care. Teen years are confusing enough about what you want to do, but add a war to it, and it multiplied. We were “hippies”.

We were rebels with a cause. Boys hair got longer (Thanks Beatles) and girls dresses got shorter (Thank you very much, Twiggy).

I like young people as I used to be one 40 years ago. I work with kids today and they’re angry. But they don’t seem to know why they’re angry. They’re confused. They don’t know what they want to do, what sex they want to be, what is right or what is wrong. At least we had a war to keep us focused to be angry about.

The twenty/thirty somethings are also angry. Their American Dream is fading. They went to college, did everything right, and are drowning in financial debt. They make the amount of money I made in 1974 in the steel mills, but then I could raise a family on it if I wanted to. Buy a new car? Good luck. A new house? So many of them, married or single, live with mom and dad.

These kids got nothing. Except the one thing that my generation was angry at. See, we thought it was the war, but it was more than that. And this song hits it right on the head.

We didn’t have a voice. And nobody listened if we did speak. And this generation is the same. They realize the government isn’t for them, they make it harder to get big loans for houses or cars, but will let you use credit card debt to bring you to the poorhouse. Of course they’re angry. As George Carlin put it, “It’s a big country club, and we ain’t in it.”

The song says, “And the people bowed and prayed to the neon god they made and the sign flashed out its warning int the words that it was forming. And the sign said, “the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls, and tenement halls.” Back then, I believed that. I believed we had all the answers, just as the current generation goes with what the rock bands or rappers say as truth.  Truth is something that the generation doesn’t believe in, at least an absolute truth. That’s because of weak churches, weak parents, and weak minds that don’t want to reason. But there is an answer to all of this.

God.

The same God they’ve kicked out of schools, courthouses, and public buildings is the answer. The words of the prophets are written in the Bible. And these people running this country  have raised a generation that doesn’t believe in God, particularly Jesus.

But that’s the answer.