Faith, Family, Friends and Firearms

Category: Uncategorized

To Blog or Not To Blog

This blog was started years ago as an outlet for thoughts, ideas, cogitations, complaints, commentary and whatever else should strike the founder’s fancy. Over the past 15 years, however, other outlets have taken up the time once used to create content here. That and life gets busy, taking away time for reflection and writing. It is fun to take an occasional look through older posts and to reflect on what sparked the urge to record whatever the topic happened to be. So although this page doesn’t get updated all that often, it is still a place I find handy to jot down occasional thoughts.

The Unscratched Itch

Small Town, USA. It wasn’t what I pictured Colorado to be. My Mom was born and raised down in SW Colorado and from the old family farm you can see the San Juan mountains. Somehow the fact that the eastern side of the state is just an extension of the bleak Kansas and Nebraska plains had escaped my attention. So, when the chance came to spend a summer in COLORADO, visions of mountains, clear streams and trout fishing filled my mind. The application for the job of Intern Minister at the local church was sent and eventually I heard back that it was accepted.

Back in the days before GPS we’d travel with just a map and a general idea of which way we were headed so I packed my few belongings into the old Ford Fairlane, put a cooler of Aldi’s softdrinks on the front seat, buckled Bear into the center seat belt on the bench seat and headed west by north west. At the end of a looong day I rolled into the small town, looking in vain for the Rocky Mountains for which the state is famous.

The minister and his family gave me a warm welcome and after a few days of settling in, orientation and instruction, they took off on family vacation leaving me to fulfill the duties of a small town minister during their absence. Preparing for Sunday sermons and visiting members of the congregation were two of my main responsibilities and the congregation stepped up to supply the hungry intern with home cooked meals and fellowship. As I got to know the town and the inhabitants it wasn’t too long before I learned that sooner or later everyone stopped at Hardware Hank’s, the hardware store down on the main drag through town. So eventually this became my main hangout when not down at the church office or visiting in people’s homes.

One one side of the store, up against the wall, was the sporting goods section. They had a locked glass case where handguns for sale were stored, along with certain ammunition. They would do some trading and often a used handgun was placed in that case to tempt the customers with. The proprietor and I came to an understanding. I had free access to the case and could even check out any of the used handguns overnight as I’d return them cleaned and oiled and in good shape for sale. And if it was available I’d buy the ammo from them. It was a win/win situation. They sold the ammo and got a clean gun back in return.

There wasn’t a lot of turn over, but they did get some interesting pieces in occasionally. One time someone traded in a Dan Wesson 22 LR with a 6 inch barrel. I took that pistol out to the pit east of town and worked a box or two of ammo through it, enjoying the working of the action (fairly smooth as I recall) and the accuracy was good, too. That evening I cleaned it up, gave it a light oiling and the next day placed it back on the shelf at Hardware Hank’s, ready for sale. I don’t recall how long it was on the shelf, but one day I noticed it’d changed its look. I got the keys, opened the case and found it had morphed into a 6” 357 magnum! And they had a box of 357 Maximum right there on the shelf! Little did the proprietor know, nor I as a green kid who was still learning all he could but had a long way to go, that the Maximum and Magnum 357’s were not identical and the same. So that pistol sat there looking forlorn until in a conversation with the barber down at the donut and coffee shop revealed that not only was he a handloader, he loaded for the 357 Magnum and had a box of shells I could use to try out that Dan Wesson!

That afternoon the 357 accompanied me out to the pit east of town and I started my usual round of plinking. I don’t recall the load, but it was a semi-wadcutter bullet and through that Dan Wesson it shot like a laser. On a whim I set up a gallon jug at somewhere between 50 and 75 yards, further than anyone had a right to expect to hit anything with a handgun, according to the “common knowledge” of non-handgun shooters. This was my first experience in reaching out and it opened my eyes to what a handgun can do if you pay attention to what you’re doing! That jug was NOT safe at that “insane” distance, not at all. And a love for handgun shooting was born then and there. In my sheltered existence prior to this I’d never been exposed to the likes of Elmer Keith or Skeeter Skelton or any of the other masters of the handgun. Indeed it would be years before I stumbled upon their writings, but in the meantime I managed to pick up a pistol or two and continue my self taught education.

In those Post GCA of ‘68 days it wasn’t allowed for a wet behind the ears boy to purchase a handgun from a store, especially not across state lines, so the itch to own that Dan Wesson remained unscratched since it had been entered into the store’s book as required by the feds. Over three decades have passed and that itch remains unscratched. Dan Wessons have climbed in value and a bargain isn’t that easy to find. But the memory of the accuracy of that old sixgun remains. Who knows? Maybe someday the opportunity will come to relive those days of my youth when a used Dan Wesson taught me a bit about what can be done with a handgun.

And “Community Standards” strikes again

Recently it came to my attention that a page we manage was unable to do Live videos on the Zuckerberg book of faces. This created a difficult situation and there was no obvious reason WHY the account was unable to post. Until I got home and finally started digging into the WHY and WHEREFORE of the situation.

After checking for messages or notifications on the pages involved, nothing was obvious. It wasn’t until I took a look at my account that the tag “Account Restricted” came up. Clicking the “Why?” link brought this bit of humor to light, a bit of humor that shows that it was grounded in fact.

Created with GIMP

Well, there you have it. A post made TWO YEARS AGO in a private group, not visible to the general public, was deemed “inappropriate” by the censors that be. Pointing out the obvious that the place is run by Fascists who will do their best to destroy those who disagree with them is “against community standards”. You can criticize and even threaten the most recent ex-president all you want, but don’t make fun of the Chief Fascist in Charge of Community Standards – or they’ll shut you down.

“Community Standards”??

This year marks the 76th anniversary of the end of World War II. Few people today seem to remember how it started and the horrible policies of those who instigated the global conflict. Nor do they remember how the Allies scrambled to build a military capable of taking on and taking down the Axis war machine(s). As the allied soldiers moved through territory that was liberated from the Axis powers it was common for them to pose with trophies of their feats of arms. As they posed with the different flags, weapons and other materiel that had belonged to those who had implemented the concentration camps and forced the world into global conflict, they were celebrating the triumph of good over evil. No, our armies were not perfect and yes they, too, sometimes were caught up in reprehensible actions – but over all the Allies fought a just war against those who were bent on the enslavement and/or destruction of those they deemed “inferior races”.

Eight years ago the image posted below was placed on my “Facebook Wall” as a reminder of the gallantry of the men and women who stood up and fought the Axis powers to the end. It was (and continues to be) a reminder that sometimes one MUST respond to aggressor nations and MUST stand up for those who are being destroyed by evil forces.

Yet, for the second time, The Powers That Be at the world’s largest social media have deemed the content on my wall to “be against our Community Standards”. The first time was about the dangers of dehumanizing humans, and also used the issues outlined above as a means of emphasizing the dangers of so doing.

When “Community Standards” deny the ability to cite history as a reminder that we must CONTINUE to fight against tyranny, well let’s just say I won’t say they are right in their restrictions. Their ignorance of history and willingness to be triggered by a reference to it shows how badly twisted their standards are. So now they are saying that the Allied powers were dangerous individuals and organizations. You bet they were – dangerous to the Axis powers.

Setting Up Kings Without God’s Consent

They set up kings without my consent; they choose princes without my approval. With their silver and gold they make idols for themselves to their own destruction. I wrote for them the many things of my law, but they regarded them as something alien.

Hosea 8:4,12

As I was reading through Hosea recently, I came upon the verses above.  To say that they gave me food for thought is an understatement indeed.  The traditional way of thinking in our nation is that if we have a governor, president, congressman, senator or other public figure that it’s  “God’s fault”.  After all, He is the One Who sets up kings and rulers, is He not? Interestingly enough, at the time the words above were written, kings normally received their kingship by inheritance – there was little chance for public opinion to be expressed under normal circumstances.  And yet, although there was no “democratic process” such as we enjoy in modern times, they DID choose men to rule over them – and men who were not according to God’s plan or design. Today we are ruled by a constitution.  Within that constitution the means of selecting rulers is spelled out clearly and the responsibility and power of government is both spelled out and limited.  How much more responsible are we today for the rulers we choose than those who lived thousands of years ago!

The normal “christian” response to the installation of a godless, unholy person as president is say “It was God’s will.” or perhaps “It is God’s judgment for (fill in the blank).” But is this necessarily true? God accused the children of Israel of “setting up kings without My consent”. In other words, those kings were not “God’s judgment” – nor were they according to God’s will. They came about by direct disobedience by God’s people, by a refusal to live according to God’s dictates. Let’s say that you have before you a small child and you say “Don’t touch the stove, it is hot and you will burn yourself.” If that child disobeys and is burned – was that burn a result of your punishment? Of course not! The burn was a direct result of the child’s own choice and disobedience. The child was warned and the child suffered the consequences. And that is what happens in today’s world as well. God has told us to live a life that is pleasing to Him. And when we, as a nation, turn our backs on His instructions it is no wonder that we have godless men leading us down paths of destruction.

It is time for us to quit blaming God for the evils that are befalling us as a nation.  In the words of the prophet Joel, “12 Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. 13 Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God,for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. 14 Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing— grain offerings and drink offerings for the LORD your God. 15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly. 16 Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber. 17 Let the priests, who minister before the LORD, weep between the temple porch and the altar. Let them say, “Spare your people, O LORD. Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’ “ (Joel 2:12-17) Yes, it is time for us to turn back to God with a whole heart.  It is time for us to fall before His throne and allow Him to guide us.  It is time to implore Him to choose for us our leaders, for us to reject all those who do not exemplify a life dedicated to His Ways. No, it’s not time for us to seek a leader who trumpets his faith, it is time for us to seek leaders for our nation who show that they know not only our own constitution but also know The Way that leads to God.

No more should we be duped into choosing “the lesser evil”.  It is time for our voice to be heard loud and clear – “No more leaders chosen without God’s consent!!!”

The article above was first published on my blog on December 9, 2009. It was lost in a site defacement and I now present it for your consideration once more.

“Shelter In Place”

Life gets hectic at times and we keep busy with “life as usual” which often doesn’t leave much time for extra curricular activities like updating my blog. Well, today’s the day – I think. It’s been quite a while since I last wrote so we’ll see how this goes.

On March 20, 2020 we’d been looking forward to the three day holiday here in Coffee Country. “Saint Joseph’s Day” is a religious holiday about which most folks have no idea here other than “it’s a holiday, GREAT!”. In the past we’ve used it as a great time to go drive up the Nevado de Ruiz as it’s usually at the peak of snow season up there, the scenery is amazing and one gets to experience a bit of winter just a few hundred miles north of the equator. But that plan hasn’t worked for years, not since the volcano became active again. And this year any such plans became moot as the alcalde declared a three day “simulation” in which all residents of our municipal area were ordered to “shelter in place” and not go out except for very narrowly defined activities.

Just when we were asking “simulation” of what? the president announced a nation wide lockdown to go into effect on Tuesday, March 24 at 12:01 a.m. and to last until April 13 at 12:01 a.m. (If I Recall Correctly – going from memory here) So for the past 11 days we’ve been “sheltering in place” and doing our best to keep on doing the work for which we are here – loving people as Christ loves them and teaching them to become His disciples and to fulfill His commandments as He told His apostles to do.

So the past few days have been “interesting”. Our first “Facebook Live” Sunday “gathering” was on March 22 and we had a very good “turnout” as people tuned in from all over town, as well as other parts of the country and even as far north as Oregon state in the U.S. WOW! As we’ve been learning more about internet “live streaming” and such we’ve been trying to become more proficient and have been using this means to encourage people, helping them to look to the Lord instead of listening to the voices of doom and gloom coming from the godless “media”.

Some of the activities for which we are allowed to leave the house are to take care of household pets by walking them for not more than 20 minutes at a time. So we’re grateful for the blessing of having a couple of canine companions which get a chance to get out and stretch their legs a few times during the day. We often meet some of our neighbors who are out doing the same and always look for positive ways to encourage them during this time of nearly universal panic and doubt.

Another reason for exiting the house is to “take care of pet medical emergencies”. Last week I remembered that it was close to time for their shots – a quick look at their records showed we were a few days past. So we loaded them into the car and off we went (the dogs and I) to the vets’ place. But on our way we stopped at the grocery store, another reason we’re allowed to stray from home, where I parked in the shade, rolled the windows down a bit and went to purchase some groceries for families in need. Several people had transferred funds to my account for such an expenditure so I was able to buy groceries for four families while on the way to the vets’.

Our dogs must be defective as they LOVE to go see the vets. So in we went, greeted each other from a safe distance and soon the girls were examined, found healthy and vaccinated. As this lovely couple are also members of our congregation it was a blessing to get in on “semi-traditional style” visitation in the midst of what is quickly becoming “non-traditional ministry”. After checking on their mental and spiritual health in the midst of the current situation we had a brief time of prayer and then it was off for home, by the “short cut”.

Yes, the short cut. You know that often the “short cut” is both longer in time and distance and takes one by non-direct paths, that’s the one we took home as it allowed me to stop by the church building to empty the pantry of perishable items, then drop by a couple of homes to deliver some of the groceries purchased earlier. What a blessing to be able to bless others during this time of need.

So we’ve been doing nightly “meetings” in which we transmit some songs and give an encouraging bit of God’s word to those who “tune in” on Facebook Live. We praise God for the blessing of having the means to do this non-traditional type ministry as several have shared with us how this time has blessed them.

Until next time…

They Call It Choice

There it was, a gruesome, troubling image, appearing in various places on Facebook. The image is troubling, but the reality behind it is even more so.  And there is a need to make people think.  So I downloaded it, opened it in GIMP, added a black frame and the title.  Because “choice” is but a word.  It can be whitewashed and used anyway the people choose to use it.  But linked to an image, an image that shows the consequences of people making the wrong choice, perhaps it will give someone, somewhere, a reason to choose life. Already this picture has impacted people.  One acquaintance threatened to “unfriend” me over it (and the fact that I’m vocal in my beliefs, something that makes fence riders uncomfortable). Yes, the image is disturbing, but what SHOULD disturb us is the fact that thousands more such children are destroyed each day. This image is repeated, in even worse forms, time after time after time.  And we call ourselves “civilized”.

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