My Autumn Adventure

I take a short cut on a narrow path up the hill.

Walking through the fallen leaves down the sky trail.

Looking down from above at the winding creek.

On the main trail. A biker ahead.

There are resting benches all along, but I pass them by.

A gorgeous day, trekking along on the winding trail.

I especially like the white birch trees, adding contrast and beauty to the picture.

Is Over-Taxing the Rich a good Idea?

 

 

As you will see in this video, over-taxing the rich is always a bad idea. I think it is basically the government stealing money from the hard working businessman. Most of those who are rich worked very hard to get there. They deserve what they earn. And when the government takes it away, it never has a good outcome. Businesses will move out of country to avoid taxes; they will loose all incentive to work; their businesses will end up making less money, thus they have less incentive to keep the business going. Entrepreneurship decreases, because new businessmen have less hope of making it work.

My Update (10/3/2020): Cleaning, Publishing, Prayer, Work

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Its been a couple of weeks since I’ve given you an update. I’m not a diary person; I find that this personal blog kind of fulfills that purpose—and more. Anyway, I will start with my apartment…

Cleaning the apartment. I have been in my apartment for just over 20 years and now we have a new management company; and they are stricter. They recently came in—while I was gone—and did an inspection. They said I needed to clean my fridge and bathtub and bathroom floor; and they are coming back in a month to check it.  Well, I’m feeling kind of upset over it, but now that I’m getting busy cleaning, I think it’s a good thing for me—God’s will.

Publishing my book. I’m a self-publisher and I’m now in that process with my last book. Editing is easy, just reading it through and checking things. But yesterday I spent about three hours trying to delete the header info from a blank page! I finely figured it out. It helps to click on “help” on my MS word. They gave me a five-point answer, and it worked! Next, I will check it over one last time and then put it in a pdf form and send it to Lulu (a printing co.) to be printed and bound. Oh, and I also have to send them my designed cover page. Lulu does a good job at making the books, but they don’t do much to sell it for you. I’m gonna half to think of ways to sell my books myself. I just have to do it—even though it really isn’t my gift.

Trump and Country. I have a blog with that name, but I quit on it a few months ago. It was too stressful for me. But though I don’t blog on politics much anymore, I do keep up with watching the Fox videos and also some reading. More and more these days I have been feeling a strong burden to pray for President Trump and this country—in that order. Every morning when I pray, he is the first item on my list: for his health, strength, and wisdom. I also pray that just judgment would be done on all those evil forces (evil people) coming against him and this country. Please pray with me. Christians, please pray. It is your most important duty. Nothing but prayer will work to come against the darkness; only God is strong enough to come against it. And He chooses to work mostly through our prayers.

My healthy and work. I want to keep working in my painting business, but I am retired and I’m slowing down. In some respects, my work is good to give me exercise. But if I overdo it, which I always tend to do, my arthritis flares up and my muscles get really sore for a few days. The key is to find the right balance between work and rest. It’s kind of nice to not be bothered by work for a few days, because I like to just sit and read and do my writing. I hope and pray that my writing will be a benefit to others, that it won’t be a meaningless or just a self-fulfilling exercise.  I’ll be praying about it, and then commit it to Him—and wait for His peace.

God bless you my fellow bloggers and followers. Keep up your good work and encouraging words. Prayer to you always.

Stephen

100 Birds Hanging Out

There is a special place where I like to walk because there are so many birds around chirping in the large trees. You can’t see them but you can sure hear them chirping happily. All at once they decided to leave the tree. They flew all together in a very large flock and landed on some old electrical wires. I’m not even sure they were connected. So many birds; I counted just over one-hundred of them. They sure seem to be a social animal. They like to just hang out together.

The Hypocrisy of the Mask

It is interesting watching people. Some rarely wear a mask, even when they are in crowds. Others wear a mask all the time: when they walk around outside, with a partner or by themselves; when they are driving alone in their car; and I suppose, even when they are alone in their house.

Most people who always wear a mask say that they are following science and that science is reliable. But I have heard time and time again that the science says that masks are not 100%. Some are even saying that they are less than 20% reliable. And most of the scientists say that the mask does not protect you; it protects others around you from the virus. So, if that is true, those people who are diligent at always wearing their masks, must be doing it for a totally unselfish reason. Now do you really think they are doing it for others? I doubt it.

So, I think, bases on the science, we can be somewhat certain that masks are not that reliable—specially to protect ourselves. But let’s just say that they are 100% reliable. If everyone is not wearing them all the time, those that don’t wear them all the time will corrupt the entire system? The best example of this hypocrisy is what happens in restaurants. The law says that everyone is required to wear a mask to enter the restaurant. But once you sit down to eat you can take it off—so you can eat. And everyone does. Oh, and if you get up from your seat to go to the restroom you must put your mask back on. And if you don’t you can bet that someone will scold you—the manager, or just anyone! It is as if there is something sacred and safe about the restaurant booth or table. It’s a free zone.

We also see the same thing with speakers. It’s okay for them to remove their mask so we can hear them clearly.

So, I think we have established that masks don’t work that well; and we have also established that if everyone is not wearing it all the time, like when they are eating in a restaurant, that substantially increases our risk of getting the virus. So why even bother to wear a mask? Here are three reason why people wear a mask:

1. Some people honestly trust that wearing a mask will keep them from getting the covid virus and keep them from dying. And their trust is based on what the news media and what their governor is telling them.

2. Whether people believe that masks are effect or not, they are compelled out of fear to follow orders. This fear is a fear of being fined or jailed, or both; or it is also a fear of being thought of as a noncompliant person, or an odd one, or a person who is bringing more of the virus to us.

3. Many are wearing it because they think that it is just the right thing to do. So, in many cases they are just blindly following orders with the hope that it will do some good. I suppose I fall into this category.

Concluding remarks:

I think what we are talking about has a prophetical ring to it. That is, in the future the Antichrist will use pandemics to keep us, by fear, under control. Have you noticed how many times the media gives us the covid 19 death statistics? Why? It is to keep us in fear! So that we will be more compliant to what they (the government) want us to do.

But we need not fear. For one thing, the death rate really isn’t that high compared to other diseases. Also, for a Christian, we need not fear death—because death is just our being transferred into another state, a better life; the resurrection life.

Update: Bahrain, Mice, Racism, and more

Bahrain is a very small Island/ Country just west of Qatar.

Work. It’s Monday, not a lot going on as far as work. I have a small job on Wednesday; I just have to paint three doors, Tarrytown green. Fun.

Mice. Following up on my latest article about my mouse problem: I haven’t seen any mice for a few days. But I am convinced that I did have one or two mice—and I was not hallucinating. My evidence, besides seeing them, was finding a few black, small droppings under the stove, in back of the juicer, and on the bathroom floor in the corner. Gross! I am more motivated now to clean and make sure I have nothing laying around where they can nest. I would be mortified if I found a nest with baby mice in it. And I asked around to all the other apartments in my building, and no one has seen any mice. Why is it just me?

Bahrain. Just too days ago, Bahrain came on board with UAE. Now we have two nations at peace with Israel, which confirms my previous article on the fact that bible prophecy is now happening; and so, the Ezekiel Invasion (Ezek. 38, 39) is coming soon—which also means that the Rapture is coming soon. It is so exciting to see these things falling into place.

My church looking at racism. I tend not to want to talk about or hear anyone talk about racism. I think that is mainly in our past. And for the most part I think it was dealt with back in the 60’s. But our pastor has chosen to tackle it. Well, so far, I think he is doing a great job. His main motivation is evangelism in our community, which has a mixed race. So, we figure that our church should really have a mixed race of people. And, for the most part, we do.

His text was from Revelation 7:9: “After these things I looked, and behold a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb…”

So, he got from that verse that in heaven there will be a mixed race of people: all nations, tribes, and languages. It is a beautiful picture. We should not see heaven as a blend of the races, say all brown people. No. It will be multi-colored. Very colorful! And we will love and accept each other as we are. So, the main message is that we need to humble ourselves, face up to, and talk about where we are concerning how we feel about each other—people of other races. Sin wants to hide; but redemption demands honesty, humility and transparency.

But we also need to be careful and wise. Riots are not the way to deal with anything. Anger will not solve anything. And we know now that there are anarchists that want to take advantage of any hurtful situation in order to destroy our country. We don’t need another civil war. We need prayer and revival, and we need law and order to go along with it.

My reading. I just started reading Live Free Or Die, by Sean Hannity. Good grief. I had no idea that the book would be so deep. I mean, it is like a text book with tons of research. It’s a book I could definitely read more than once. There is so much in it. It is not that hard to read, just so much in it. Oh well, I will just read it slow, a little at a time. It is good. A lot of good information about our great country.

Did I See A Mouse?

A couple days ago when I was sitting on my couch watching TV, I saw a mouse come out from under the couch; and then, as soon as I saw him, he quickly ran back under the couch again. I was startled. Did I really see what I think I saw? It was late, about midnight, so maybe I was half-asleep and it was part of a dream. I settled back into the couch, but I made sure my feet were up resting on the stool. If he came out again, I didn’t want him to crawl over my feet—or I didn’t want him to be tempted to run up my pant leg!

I will never forget the time, on the farm, when my mother was working in the garden hoeing, when suddenly we (me and my sister) saw her start wildly dancing and screaming. We found out later that a mouse had crawled up her pant leg. I didn’t ask, but I assume that the mouse found its way out. The poor mouse was probably traumatized. Just kidding! I’m sure my mom had the worst of it. Well, anyway, its 60 years since that happened and I still remember it vividly. I don’t want that to happen to me.

Still sitting on the couch, wondering if what I saw was real, I suddenly saw another mouse, or maybe the same one run across the room under the TV set. It didn’t make a sound, but I saw it…or did I?

I know that people who have Parkinson’s disease start seeing things that aren’t there. Both my mom and dad had Parkinson’s before they died and I know my mom was like that. So anyway, I’m thinking that maybe I’m also starting to see things—maybe.

The next day (Thursday) I saw the mouse again. He came out from under the couch just like before, sniffed around, and then when he saw me, he quickly ran back under.

The following day, after work, I went to Home Depot and bought a couple mouse traps and put them out. I also did some cleaning and vacuuming to get rid of anything that Mr Mouse would want to eat. I also watched a couple videos on YouTube about mice—evidence of mice. I have since been looking around. I can’t find any holes or nests, but I think I did see just a few mouse droppings, like about 5 or 6 very small ones. I have evidence! I’m not crazy!

This morning I checked the traps…nothing. This afternoon I will pull out the refrigerator and stove to check under there. And do more cleaning. If I don’t find anything, I am guessing that my mouse friend was just here for a short visit just to look around. Maybe if I keep the place clean, he (or they) won’t come back.

Since I know (from evidence) that I had, or have mice I am more convinced now that I did actually see them. But even though that may be true, I am also more thoughtful of what is down the road for me in terms of my health—possibly Parkinson’s and Dementia. On the positive side, I am more prayerful now—praying about everything, and hopeful that He will keep me in His perfect peace.

Planting Seeds of the Gospel

In my reading today I was struck by the passage in Mark 4:26-28.

And He was saying, “The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil;  27 and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows — how, he himself does not know.  28 “The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head.

My observation here is that God calls us to plant the seeds of the gospel. I think for a Christian that is his primary task. And that task is very simple; just plant the seed and leave it alone. God will do the rest. He will cause it to grow. Too often I think we are too concerned that we will do something wrong or not enough. So, we do nothing out of fear.

The passage says that the farmer planted the seeds in a field and then he left the field and goes about doing whatever he does: he goes to bed and gets up. I grew up on a farm and that is basically what you do. You put the seeds in a planter, then you drive the tractor back and forth over the field planting the seed, until the whole field is planted. Then you go home, put your tractor and planter away, go have supper, and eventually go to bed. There is no more that the farmer needs to do with that field. There is no more that he can do. He trusts that rain will come and water the seeds and that the seeds will grow. And that is exactly what happens—every time!

Now in the meantime, as he waits for the seeds to grow, he continues to work. Perhaps he will plant seeds in another field, or he will cultivate a field that he had previously planted, where the corn seeds had grown. The point is that he will not worry about the seeds growing; he will keep working doing whatever God calls him to do—trusting that the seed will grow as it always does without the farmers help.

I will say again that I think many of us, including myself, are not always doing what we are called to do: we are not planting seeds of the gospel. We do all kinds of Christian things, but we are not planting seeds. We are not sharing our faith: in a conversation, in a blog or tweet or text.  It doesn’t take much: a bible verse, a thought from the word, a lesson learned. Any small truth as small as a mustard seed can grow into a very large plant—which represents something very substantial that we may contribute to the kingdom of God.