Trading Poop For Sh*t!

poop shoe


I owe some people an apology.  Early on in this ongoing bowel movement that has been the presidential election of 2016, I spoke freely and openly about the idiocy of Bernie Sanders and socialism in general.  At the time, I really didn’t grasp that some of my adult friends would actually be voting for Bernie in the primary.  Looking back now, I realize that my remarks probably gave the impression of calling people stupid for supporting Bernie.  For that I apologize.  My intent is almost always to be critical of thoughts and ideas without being overly critical of those who buy into them.  But I know it doesn’t always come across that way.  I apologize.

I’ve followed along pretty closely through the primaries, with hopes of a candidate with true conservative values winning the Republican nomination.  Maybe someone who possesses wisdom, integrity, honesty.  Someone who understands the dangers of an ever-expanding federal government and the exponential rise of the nanny state.  Gee, maybe even just someone who has genuine leadership skills.  Someone that will be a president even for those who didn’t vote for them.  That just didn’t materialize.

Before our eight years of Obama, I was never overly concerned with who out president was. My main concern has generally been for what Americans believe and not so much for who our supposed leader is.  But it is now my belief that no American president has ever done a more masterful job of negatively influencing the thinking of an upcoming generation and effectively silencing and shaming dissenters.

From Obama’s ongoing narratives, racial division has been re-ignited and disrespect for law enforcement has been energized.  Climate change is a new religion.  Work ethic steadily dies along with personal responsibility, as he pushes for equal results under the disguise of equal opportunity.  Affordable care act has basically made healthcare more affordable only for those who aren’t paying for it anyway.  The “everybody deserves” movement has never had so much momentum.  It’s probably safe to say that no president ever has done more to lay the groundwork for outright socialism (Obama and Hillary both love socialism, but only Bernie has the courage to call it what it is).  So yes, my attention level has risen.

So where does that leave conservatives?  Between Hillary and Trump, it may be a race between socialism and free markets.  That’s enough to make me vote for Trump, almost.  I don’t feel it’s necessary to hash out a laundry list of what I don’t like about Hillary (being conservative should explain why I could NEVER vote for Clinton).  Suffice to say that both candidates face a continuous onslaught of negative publicity, simply because that is the true path their life has taken and the malodorous trail that is left behind.  Plenty of folks have done a fine job of laying out a case for not voting for either one of them.  Yeah, I get that loud and clear.

Can I vote for Trump?  At times I thought I could, simply because of what I was voting against.  I was undecided until today.

I don’t say this to get others to follow along.  And I certainly don’t want to present my position as the right position or one that Christians should take.  But I have a feeling that many others feel the same as I do.  Unsure.

I have 10 & 16 year-old sons.  I care deeply what the United States of our future looks like. I care deeply what our younger generation believes in and where they lay their hope and their trust. My hope is that they place their trust is Jesus Christ as a savior who gives them hope, strength, and guidance.  I have a family to raise and a family business to run… matter who is president.  And regardless of who our nation’s leader is, I can use my life and my words to make an impact for Christ.  We don’t need a perfect environment to practice Christianity or to raise our family in God-honoring ways.  We don’t need an intrusion-free business climate to keep the doors open and keep the bills paid.

Yes it’s wise to be informed and concerned.  But I refuse to resort to hand-wringing about who our next leader is.  I refuse to buy into the perspective of “we’re doomed if _____ wins.”  Maybe for Christians, we’re not doomed, but we are seriously distracted from the life that God desires for us when we allow ourselves to become overly distraught about election results.  Again, I’m not trying to shame anyone for a level of passion that they may have reached.  I’m just telling people where I landed.

As a business man, I’m thankful that I don’t conduct business and treat people the way Trump has a history of doing.  And as women, I’m just forever grateful that my wife and daughters are polar opposites of the person that Hillary is.

But still, I could vote against Hillary and vote for Trump.

Except that I have two daughters of voting age (18 & 20).  And if they ask me who they should vote for, I could not with good conscience tell them to vote for Trump. But they didn’t even ask me.  And perhaps that is the deciding factor that speaks loudest of all.  My girls spend their time in the Bible seeking God’s direction in their life instead of following the biased hysteria of CNN, Fox News, and social media.  They are more concerned with God than they are about political and economic circumstances.  Pretty sure my wife feels the same way. I’m following their lead.

For all you folks that have done such a fine job telling the world why we shouldn’t vote for either, I commend you for a job well done.  You win.  I will vote for neither.

Like a good friend of mine has always said when left with choosing between two bad options………..

“You’re just trading poop for sh*t.”

In the end, you can choose to call your prized pile of manure something else.  But it still stinks.

Don’t bother telling me I have to choose one.  No, I don’t.

The UPS Truck Ran Over the Cat. Where’s My Gun?

gun control

Some years ago, my daughter had a Calico cat that I despised.  And I had a gun that I’d never fired.  But no, it’s not what you think.

I can’t recall the exact sequence of events on that fateful day, only that a UPS van that turned around in our rural driveway, plowed over poor Daisy.  But Daisy didn’t die.  She was left in a sad distorted mess and destined to die.  It became my job to put her out of her misery.

That brings us to my brief history of gun ownership.  Events in my life had led me to purchase a small caliber pistol for potential protection against the presence of some evil folks who lurked on the outskirts of my work life.  But I had never fired it.

My experience with guns (here in the heart of hunting and gun-loving friends) consisted of one bold shot into a pond with a .22 rifle as bored teen that sent a large frog a long distance through the air…… a lot of pieces.

So I find and load my pistol, and drag poor Daisy to a secluded spot behind our house to bring her life to a merciful end.  The only problem was, that even though she couldn’t move, it still took me three shots to get a direct hit.

twit of the year

Apparently I turned my head, closed my eyes and flinched each time I shot.  But I finally finished the deed.  I’m pretty sure my kids still think of this story every time they see a UPS truck.

But why do people buy guns?  Why do people vehemently defend their right to own guns?  And why do politicians bring up gun control laws every time a news story of gun violence reaches national airwaves?

I couldn’t begin to get inside the mind of an avid gun owner.   But I think the main reason that people purchase their first gun later in life is simply to protect themselves against the presence of evil people in their world.  A couple of horrific news stories motivated my wife to arm herself………not against guns, but against godless evil people.

Make no mistake, it is of greatest importance to be more heavily armed that whatever potential evil we may face.  If somebody wants to assault me with bare hands, then I want a baseball bat (since I’ve never been in a fist fight in 47 years, I don’t imagine I could win one now).  If someone comes at me with a knife, I’ll be needing a gun.  If danger shows up with a gun, I’ll most likely need a bigger gun.

I won’t argue just how big of a gun is big enough.  And I won’t argue the finer points of intrusions and registrations that gun control regulations present.

But I will toss this out there:

There needs to be a shift away from freaking out about what people possess (guns), and serious consideration of changing the way people think (heart)

The problem with so many problems is that government wants to step in and overstep in cases where inaction is perfectly fine.  But politicians want to grab every horrible headline and say, “Yes, I am going to fix that for everybody.”

Hillary Clinton certainly wasn’t going to miss her chance after two TV journalists were fatally shot on the air last week.

“We have got to do something about gun violence in America. I will take it on. There are many people who face it and know it but then turn away because it’s hard,” Clinton said. “It’s a very political, difficult issue in America. But I believe we are smart enough, we are compassionate enough, to figure out how to balance the legitimate Second Amendment rights with preventive measures and control measures so that whatever motivated this murderer who eventually took his own life, we will not see more deaths, needless, senseless deaths.”

Gun control would have prevented this double murder?  Probably not.  You simply can’t ignore the condition of a man’s heart in all these discussions.

She claims that it’s a political problem (and of course, she will fix it).  But it’s not a problem of laws, regulation, and ownership.  Gun violence is a problem of moral decay.

Laws can be made to bring and maintain order in society.  But government cannot enter homes and legislate the presence of moral values and respect for life.

Instead, government officials constantly claim to fix problems that they can’t fix, but all they achieve is poisoning impressionable minds with false hope of easier and better lives by someone else’s provision.  The result is that misguided souls experience the disappearance of personal responsibility.  Dependent people become hopeless people.  Hopeless people become angry people.

Just as you can’t fight a war on poverty by passing out checks & removing incentives to work, you can’t fight a war against hatred and violence by ignoring moral issues, placing blame on objects, and cultivating false hope with empty promises.

We don’t have a gun problem.  We have a people problem….a hope problem.  Ever increasing government intrusion and chatter breeds hopelessness and helplessness.

God and self, in that order.

Big government……silence is golden.  You can’t really fix a lot of things.  People can fix things.  But the more you intrude and the more you talk, you continue to demonstrate a fine ability to make matters worse.

Daddy, How Can You Be a Christian AND a Democrat?

“Daddy, how can you be a Christian and be a Democrat?”
Honest question. Thirty days later I still don’t have the answer.
I’ve read a lot of bible verses about subjects like “work” and
“looking after orphans and widows”.
I even came across this one:
“You shall not murder.” Exodus 20:13
So now, I have arrived at this conclusion:
I don’t have THE answer. I have AN answer.
Biblical truths form my belief system.
These beliefs determine my attitudes and my actions.
But it’s been awhile since I had a chat with anyone on the supreme court about abortion.
And I’m still waiting for my opportunity to weigh in on a national level
on matters like welfare and healthcare reform.
For Christians, political parties cannot define who we are.
I assume many Christians fall into a similar category; one party consistently
supports or promotes positions that are exactly
“what is wrong with our country”.
But truthfully, picking a side in politics simply dictates how we might vote.
It doesn’t dictate how we live.
My approach to political discussions resembles the exchanges I have with
someone who has a favorite sports team that I despise.
I dislike everything about the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Louisville Cardinals.
And I don’t know why or how anyone arrives at the point of being fans, but some fine
people and dear friends are devoted fans of these teams.
Our different views provide opportunities for colorful discussion, but
it can never affect our relationships.
If the guy sitting next to me in a pew (hypothetical yes, because I sit alone….
bad singing and all) happens to run for sheriff or mayor as a Democrat in Smalltown, USA
then I can’t really label him as a baby killer and assume that he will fight to the
death for anything and everything that the Democratic party stands for on
a national level.

boss hog

He could be a 4th generation Democrat that believes in the same biblical truths as me.

Perhaps his interpretation of taking care of widows and orphans differs slightly from my own.

It’s not, and cannot be made to be a huge issue.

What is the huge issue?

I believe it is this:  that Christians should be very careful how they
speak and interact with others when it comes to political differences.

It matters not if someone is Republican or Democrat.

It matters only if they are a believer or an unbeliever.

Christians must have an awareness of refusing to water down or compromise biblical truths.

But as we engage with others in interactions of a political nature we must also be

aware of the dangers of our actions and words ensuring

that unbelievers will remain unbelievers.

Live what you believe…….absolutely.

And know that political debate, while it can stimulate intelligent and entertaining discussion,

is not an effective ministry tool.  It is a good way to identify with those who believe as you do.

It may not be the best way to change the beliefs of those who do not.

And it may not be the best way to spend your time and energy.