Category Archives: Editorial

Aunt Hester’s General Store: Trucks, Trucks, and More Trucks!

Sweet Morsels of Goodness, for the past week or so there has been nothing but trucks coming through LaFollette on their way to Caryville so they can get back onto I-75. I’ve been sitting out on the porch of the General Store and I’ve found it such a wonder. Yes, it is a pain in the backside for many of us who live, work, and have businesses here, but since there’s not much you can do about it, then you just might as well make the best of it!

There’s no telling just how long it will take for them to fix that troublesome spot on I-75, so we will just have to get along with the situation. I sit, watch, and count and I’m amazed by the number of trucks that are coming through. Trucks from all over the United States are coming through our town and just the number of human beings that are briefly going through here is an amazement unto itself.

The highest count that I’ve gotten so far, is 96 trucks in less than one hour. I wave to all of them and most of them wave back. Of course, I’m sure that all of those drivers would prefer not to have to take the detour, but they’re making the best of it and there’s no doubt about it that all those on the police forces around here are doing a fine job of keeping things moving.

I heard someone complaining as they said, “Well, if the police around here knew how to direct traffic, there wouldn’t be such slow traffic.” As far as I’m concerned, that person is a grumbler because they’re not stopping to think that more trucks come through here in an hour, than there are police. And the police, not only have to direct that traffic, but answer all the other calls that come in, regardless of the traffic!

These trucks are delivering groceries, medicine, and all sorts of things and when you see just what it takes to stock the shelves and such, it’s a wonder. These trucks are moving 24/7 and without them, we’d really have something to complain about, wouldn’t we?

And Ladies, some of those truck drivers are right healthy specimens, are they not? A few the other day, gave me the vapors! Another thing, some of those trucks are the prettiest things I’ve ever seen!

So, My Darlings, I know that it takes longer to get to Wally World and to get around, but just be thankful that it isn’t something worse, and trust me, it could be something worse. Take your time getting around, be careful, leave a bit earlier, don’t get angry, and hope that there are little or no accidents.

It’s just a matter of learning . . . unlearning . . . and . . . relearning.

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Jeremy’z Journey: Experience again teaches me to rely on God

“Experience is a great teacher, but she sends in terrific bills” – Minna Thomas Antrim (1861-1950).
Those of you who have followed this writing from the beginning may recall the recent ranting about locks and why they are necessary from Lock your doors! But Why? (2/29/2012). But once again, I have learned that I have learned nothing about making sure that I don’t lock myself out of something.
Tis true that any one of us humans who owns a key, has undoubtedly locked ourselves out of the lock in which that key fits. Most often the car taunts us with the keys hanging in the ignition, seemingly laughing at us as we try to paw our way inside. As the famous quote above eludes, many of us have paid the “terrific bill” that comes with sharing the personal embarrassment of keeping the locksmith in business. After nearly an hour of trying our own tricks to get in, this “master of his trade” comes in and gains entry to our car in mere seconds.
For me, this time it was the house, not the truck that added unnecessary befuddlement to my morning. Well, it was the truck too, but we’ll get to that in a minute. It seems I had learned nothing about assuring that I have the keys before locking myself out, but I did manage to remember the most important lesson of life – stay calm and pray.
With two boys in tow, a diaper bag, shopping list as to not spend too much money, coupon box for the same reason, and wallet we were ready for a trip to the store. So I thought. As soon as I shut the front door, I realized that the keys were hanging two inches from the door – inside the house.
Oh, and did I mention that the sky was quickly becoming a looming gray with droplets of rain sure to follow. Panic ensued!
I began checking to see if maybe the backdoor had hopefully been left unlocked. As I did this, I made mental note of all the windows that were shut and locked from the inside. And as mentioned above, I couldn’t get in the truck either, because the source to open the truck door is on the same key ring, locked in the house.
With no toolbox unlocked, I began the well-known popular dance that has not made an appearance on any shimmying with public icons TV programs, aka “the credit-card shuffle.” With the two boys staring at me, wondering what the heck Dad was doing and why, I ruined what had been a perfectly useable grocery tiger discount card.
One of the boys asked what I was doing and when would we finally go to the store, and I remembered the biggest lesson my life and experience has taught me – I took a deep breath and began to pray.
First I thanked God for everything He has given me, my family, my church and church family, my home and truck. Even though I couldn’t get into them, I know that many people don’t even have keys to lock themselves out of things that go along with keys. Then I asked God for the calmness I needed and for the ability to figure out what I needed to get back into the house. Yes, a selfish prayer. But God hears all of our prayers, regardless. Following this, I calmly began looking around for something to help me get in. Just as if God, “the master of His trade,” had laid it in my hand Himself, I found exactly what I needed to get us safely back inside. And this all happened just before the sprinkles started, too.
I started thinking about what I would learn from this experience. First, I thought: I made it back into the house, I will get a spare and hide-a-key box to place somewhere outside to make sure that I was never locked out again. Then God’s message came to me: It had been locked up like an impenetrable fortress, just as I had once locked my own heart from allowing God inside. But He got into my heart anyway!
There were consequences for locking myself out, just as there are consequences for not allowing Jesus to be Lord of our lives, as well as our savior. For one, there was the purchase of the hide-a-key and spare key to go in it. These little items I bought are magnetized inside my house. I look at it every day and think, “That might help me get in, if only I would place it outside the house.” Also, I had to replace the lock and doorknob, which aren’t cheap little purchases when you’re not planning on replacing them.
But the consequences of not allowing God to penetrate our hearts and lives are far greater than the cost of a new lock. I know that personally, because I wasted years of my life trying to be in control and live my way, only to discover that I had made many mistakes with costs I couldn’t have fathomed before committing them. But I ended up right where I should’ve been the whole time – at the foot of the Cross.
At the foot of the Cross is Jesus’ blood which brings forgiveness of sin; His redemption from the life and mistakes I’ve made; correction for my past thoughts, actions and ways. All of those things and more are there for all of us. Those things are there for you.
I had closed my heart like a book, or sealed it shut as a locked house. Many of us do. Obviously we try to keep weather, natural disasters, thieves and other unwanted guests from breaching our homes. But unfortunately, many of us put up the same barriers against Jesus Christ. We all, even Christians, have blockaded Him from having full reign of our lives.
Following Jesus’ resurrection, He appeared to His disciples many times.
Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in His hands and put my finger where the nails were, and my hand into His side, I will not believe it” – John 20:24, 25 (New International Version).
Thomas, just like we do, had built up hurdles that kept him from fully believing in Christ’s resurrection. The only way Thomas could overcome his obstacle was to see Jesus with his own eyes and touch Him with his own hands.
Regrettably, some of us humans are still that way today. We can’t give in and believe in what we can’t see – what can’t be explained with Earthly wisdom. Thomas was a locked house – an impenetrable heart. Are you a locked house? Do you have an impenetrable heart?
A week later His disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
Thomas said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”—John 20:26 – 28.
We build up our defenses and try to keep Him out, but Jesus can penetrate our hearts; He can break through our barriers. He can unlock our locks and unblock our obstacles. Jesus can open our hearts and read its pages.
He wants to be in all of our hearts; in all of our houses.
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen me yet have believed.”
Father God, I ask you to help us all to believe and then to see! Amen!

Aunt Hester’s General Store: Don’t Forget To Title Your Work

A few weeks ago, I was having a Senior Moment and I forget to put a title on my column and someone else did it for me. I wouldn’t have minded so much except for the fact that the title had nothing to do with what I had written! I wrote about the idea that when we are alone and no one is watching you: that is who we truly are.

Any of you, you have read my column over the years, know that I’m not one of these Climb-every-mountain-hung-a-tree-sitting-in-a-circle-Kum Ba Yah-singing-folks. That’s fine if that’s what you want to do. But, Darlings, it’s not for me!

I don’t ever strive to surround myself with beauty, instead of ugliness, because all that business is in the eye of the beholder, is it not! You know, some folks paint the walls of their homes with black paint and think it’s beautiful. I think it’s not beautiful. But, to each his or her own. I’m not about to tell anyone how to live their lives, what religion they should follow, whom they should marry, nor do I think that any President should use religion as a political ploy for votes.

Just recently, there was proclaimed a Day of Prayer in this country. And of course, those that don’t happen to believe in religion or God, for that matter, had a lot to say about such a proclamation. And whether you liked it or not, they had a right to express their opinions. Personally, one of the largest failures of government is to constantly attempt to legislate morality. It doesn’t work. Yes, we are a Republic, where the Majority rules, but on the next line, it mentions the fact that the Majority has an obligation to protect the rights of the Minority! This fact gets left out when Politicians use religion as a convenient way to get votes!

Those folks that are termed Atheist, Agnostics, have to stop being so bothered except in situations where the religious beliefs of others are forced upon them. But if you live in a town that wants to put up a cross to honor those who have died in combat, then you’ll just have to get over yourselves!

Have many times have you heard and seen: In God We Trust? Do you really know what that means or is it something you just say? Do you believe that it means, literally what is says? Politicians almost chant it and yet, this Nation has more Chemical Warfare stockpiles than any other nation, the Atomic and Neutron Bombs, and folks want to carry guns, and we buy millions of dollars worth of Life Insurance. And for that matter Home Insurance, Health Insurance, Car Insurance, and it goes on and on!

Religion has been used as a Political Weapon for centuries. Personally, I think religion should stay out of politics and politicians should stop using religion. But I know that’s not going to happen. As a politician or as a citizen, you can only bring you sense of morality and ethics to any situation. Are there more Atheists and Agnostics in prison than Christians? Are Atheists and Agnostics immoral people? Can you be a Christian and judge them?

Look at what religious fanatics are doing in the Middle East. There are many Muslims that don’t believe in what is happening, but because of the divisions in their religion, too many find themselves in the Minority. You had better believe that so many of these people honestly believe in what they are doing and that God has sent them on a mission to destroy Americans! They’ve got themselves twisted into believing that they’re God’s assassins and they will be rewarded for their efforts! How many Americans, do you know of, who have strapped bombs on themselves and been willing to blown themselves and others up?

I don’t think that anyone, who believes they will be rewarded for such efforts have ever asked themselves one question: If God wants someone dead or a nation to fail, will He not take care of it Himself? I think He does, but in His own time, not on our time schedule! Is that not the real understanding of In God We Trust?

I’m truly happy for anyone who finds answers and happiness in their beliefs and they walk that path to glory. But, not for one moment, will I accept from anyone, that because they have found the answer for themselves, that they have found the answer for me!

The greatest act of evil and immorality that anyone can do, is to put their personal agenda in the mouth of God Almighty and then stand behind God and spit their venom over His head!

It’s just a matter of learning . . . unlearning . . . and . . . relearning.

 

Aunt Hester’s General Store: Don’t Forget To Title Your Work

A few weeks ago, I was having a Senior Moment and I forget to put a title on my column and someone else did it for me. I wouldn’t have minded so much except for the fact that the title had nothing to do with what I had written! I wrote about the idea that when we are alone and no one is watching you: that is who we truly are.

Any of you, you have read my column over the years, know that I’m not one of these Climb-every-mountain-hung-a-tree-sitting-in-a-circle-Kum Ba Yah-singing-folks. That’s fine if that’s what you want to do. But, Darlings, it’s not for me!

I don’t ever strive to surround myself with beauty, instead of ugliness, because all that business is in the eye of the beholder, is it not! You know, some folks paint the walls of their homes with black paint and think it’s beautiful. I think it’s not beautiful. But, to each his or her own. I’m not about to tell anyone how to live their lives, what religion they should follow, whom they should marry, nor do I think that any President should use religion as a political ploy for votes.

Just recently, there was proclaimed a Day of Prayer in this country. And of course, those that don’t happen to believe in religion or God, for that matter, had a lot to say about such a proclamation. And whether you liked it or not, they had a right to express their opinions. Personally, one of the largest failures of government is to constantly attempt to legislate morality. It doesn’t work. Yes, we are a Republic, where the Majority rules, but on the next line, it mentions the fact that the Majority has an obligation to protect the rights of the Minority! This fact gets left out when Politicians use religion as a convenient way to get votes!

Those folks that are termed Atheist, Agnostics, have to stop being so bothered except in situations where the religious beliefs of others are forced upon them. But if you live in a town that wants to put up a cross to honor those who have died in combat, then you’ll just have to get over yourselves!

Have many times have you heard and seen: In God We Trust? Do you really know what that means or is it something you just say? Do you believe that it means, literally what is says? Politicians almost chant it and yet, this Nation has more Chemical Warfare stockpiles than any other nation, the Atomic and Neutron Bombs, and folks want to carry guns, and we buy millions of dollars worth of Life Insurance. And for that matter Home Insurance, Health Insurance, Car Insurance, and it goes on and on!

Religion has been used as a Political Weapon for centuries. Personally, I think religion should stay out of politics and politicians should stop using religion. But I know that’s not going to happen. As a politician or as a citizen, you can only bring you sense of morality and ethics to any situation. Are there more Atheists and Agnostics in prison than Christians? Are Atheists and Agnostics immoral people? Can you be a Christian and judge them?

Look at what religious fanatics are doing in the Middle East. There are many Muslims that don’t believe in what is happening, but because of the divisions in their religion, too many find themselves in the Minority. You had better believe that so many of these people honestly believe in what they are doing and that God has sent them on a mission to destroy Americans! They’ve got themselves twisted into believing that they’re God’s assassins and they will be rewarded for their efforts! How many Americans, do you know of, who have strapped bombs on themselves and been willing to blown themselves and others up?

I don’t think that anyone, who believes they will be rewarded for such efforts have ever asked themselves one question: If God wants someone dead or a nation to fail, will He not take care of it Himself? I think He does, but in His own time, not on our time schedule! Is that not the real understanding of In God We Trust?

I’m truly happy for anyone who finds answers and happiness in their beliefs and they walk that path to glory. But, not for one moment, will I accept from anyone, that because they have found the answer for themselves, that they have found the answer for me!

The greatest act of evil and immorality that anyone can do, is to put their personal agenda in the mouth of God Almighty and then stand behind God and spit their venom over His head!

It’s just a matter of learning . . . unlearning . . . and . . . relearning.

 

Jeremy’z Journey: Prayer vs. Reason. Are those who pray, unreasonable?

As some may be aware, the first Thursday of May – May 3 this year – has been established as a National Day of Prayer.
As a Christian, I am aware of how our faith – and even other faith – is constantly under attack. But I must say this one was new to me. So while some may already be aware of what I’m about to write, I was unaware of such assaults against faith in general until recently. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, whether you put your faith into practice or allow it to lie dormant in your life, please listen up. Uh, I mean read intently, because war is being waged against all of our beliefs in America.
I knew that the National Day of Prayer was coming up soon, as I missed participating in the event last year because I wasn’t active in faith. As I began my research, I found that there has been controversy surrounding this particular nationally designated day for many years, particularly since 2003. That year, Atheist groups such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) and the American Humanist Association (AHA – not to be confused with the American Heart Association AHA) began working to enact their own National Day of Reason. This Day of Reason was read into existence in the U.S. Congress in 2009.
A writer for the Atheism Examiner wrote in that year, “It is a protest, of sorts, to the unconstitutional National Day of Prayer… The National Day of Reason encourages groups that are opposed to the National Day of Prayer to organize events in their respective areas to show unity against the continued perversion of our government’s nature by religious ideology. Just as important, these groups are doing things in their communities that actually contribute to the overall well-being of our nation, unlike prayer, which is a fruitless time waster.”
That writer continued, hoping that then newly elected President Barack Obama would “put an end” to the nationally recognized day of prayer.
Another writer at the Manchester branch of the Examiner – not sure which Manchester as I didn’t care to research the location further – that same year, 2009, wrote, “For the freethinking people who reject myths and superstitions, this is a great way to counteract the unfortunate National Day of Prayer.”
I am most offended by the word “unfortunate.” The author describes it as the “unfortunate” National Day of Prayer and seeks to “counteract” it. The first writer says that prayer is “a fruitless time waster” and that Americans should “protest” it.
The second author’s bio states that she “looks to educate others on the problems caused by believing in the magical and invisible guy in the sky,” and “hopes to further enlighten her community with reason, logic, and science.”
Another Examiner writer in Oklahoma, this year wrote, “On Thursday May 3rd, 2012, many Americans led by our elected officials will turn to God in prayer and meditation in a day observed as the National Day of Prayer (36 U.S.C. 119). While prayer and meditation are recognized for their self-satisfying benefits in lieu of action, a better sense of well being and gratification can be experienced by actually doing something good for one’s community. As the saying goes, two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer.”
I have intentionally given the editorialists I’ve quoted anonymity here, God knows who they are!
Reading more into these articles, I found that Atheism is not a religion. This puzzled me because they seem to be trying to convert as many people as possible to their faith – or lack thereof. Most who believe in a god are content to be peaceful with others. However, those with a lack of belief seem to be mounting an attack against the rest of us, regardless of what we believe. I mean with the hope to “further enlighten her community with reason, logic, and science,” it seems that Atheists consider anyone who believes in anything beyond themselves are apparently irrational boobs. Is it unreasonable to recognize a higher power than myself? Some believe it is.
I am a believer/knower of Christ. Christianity is NOT a religion, but rather a relationship. I believe that religions, and I include Atheism, are false and meant to divert man from the one true GOD, the Bible says this. I won’t apologize for believing this way. If you believe something else, you should know that I don’t think you’re an ignoramus, as some human(ist)s apparently do.
But as a believer in this century, I can work Google just fine, despite those who think faith makes me foolish. I also believe/know that gravity, the inertia of a speeding train and hydrogen atoms exist. So I must be a freak-of-nature because I am a believer and I understand logic, reasoning and scientific principles too. Of course, I’m joking other believers can comprehend reasoning also, but don’t tell the Atheists.
Without being judgmental, it’s obvious to me that the last author, among others, has never experienced the power that can be experienced when two hands are clasped in prayer. One thing I noticed about these articles, other than their disbelief in “the guy in the sky,” was that on the side there was a place for comments on various platforms. All of the articles had something else in common, “0” tweets, “0” Facebook Likes, “+1” Google hit, “0” In Shares and “0” comments. I assume that I gave them the “+1” on the g, because that’s how I came across them.
Now for a history lesson: On many occasions prior to a National Day of Prayer being enacted by Pres. Harry S. Truman in 1952, our leaders have called for the country to pray. Prior to the nation’s founding, the Continental Congress issued a proclamation recommending, not forcing, a day of public “humiliation, fasting, and prayer” be observed on July 20, 1775. George Washington, John Adams and other presidents have called for the nation to pray. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln blamed the country’s lack of prayer for “that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land.” He claimed it “may be but a punishment, inflicted upon us, for our presumptuous sins.” He called for “national humiliation, fasting and prayer,” hoping that God restore “our now divided and suffering Country, to its former happy condition of unity and peace”. In 1988, the day was announced to be held the first Thursday in May from then on.
Americans of all walks acknowledge that one of the reasons the United States was founded was for religious freedom. That includes those with the lack of religion. But just because you don’t have something in this country, doesn’t give you the right to take it out on those of us who do have. To balance that – or to force religion – would be communism. Our government isn’t forcing anyone to pray, or to pray to a specific god, with us on May 3. That would be unconstitutional. But setting aside a day for prayer across the land isn’t. Many of our leaders are believers; many of those are brave enough to embrace faith publicly and will join us.
After reading this, and the excerpts from other writers, I hope you of little or great faith are paying attention, as I admittedly was not before now. Believers must realize that by not practicing our faith, we are neglecting it. By not standing together in prayer, we are losing it.
“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You, dear children are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of falsehood.” – 1 John 1:1-6.
To those who believe in nothing, I repeat these wise words: If I am wrong, what do I lose? Nothing. If you are wrong, look at what you stand to lose!
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time,” – 1 Peter 5:6.
So I ask you to join with us in prayer. It isn’t forced. It isn’t required. But if you believe, then pray. If you are reading this after the National Day of Prayer this year, it’s ok. God will forgive you if you pray to Him today. Hopefully next year, we can all pray together. And to Atheists, those who don’t believe in anything, we will pray for you.
“The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” – 1 John 2:17.