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Thursday, June 30, 2011


Today is the thirtieth of June and I have broken my own rule and upgraded my computers Operating System from the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS(Long Term Support) to the 18 month supported version, 11.04, a.k.a. The Natty Narwhal. When 10.04, Lucid, hit the scene, just over a year ago, it was clear that the Canonical people were out to attract more business' to use their OS by the start-up and shut-down times, they are very fast. Now, the South-African owner, Mr. Shuttleworth, is taking aim at a couple of hundred million new desk-top users in the very near future and I believe that he is on target.

I love the Gnome Desk-Top and was a bit miffed at the idea of making the desk-top more ¨Windows¨ User friendly, after all, it isn´t at all difficult to install the Windows-like KDE Desk-Top. But here I am with two Revitalized Computers, dedicated to youth that cannot afford one for their schooling and my wayward son walks back into my life... computer-less! I can´t have that so I take my backup/testbed/emergency unit and I download the new version, reformat the hdd and install. I am so impressed with the system, two months out of release that I upgraded my work unit last night.

I want to say, right up front, that Mark Shuttleworth and his team at Canonical deserve medals of recognition, the Unity interface/Desk-top is just what Windows and Micro Soft never needed to happen to the open-source/free software world! It is completely Icon driven so that the GUI/Graphic User Interface is the best I have ever used. There is only one Task Bar, at the top, that although it never disappears, it does not take up screen territory when an application is in use. The App. Header and the task bar combine, giving the user more screen to operate with, very nice!

The icons are in a single column at the left of the screen but disappear when an app. is opened but, not to worry. Move the cursor to the left of the screen and rest for less than a second and the Icons crawl back into view. Now, if you´re like me you have several hundred applications installed and even a collapsing and expanding single column will never be enough. However, not to worry! At the top left you will find the Ubuntu Logo Icon and when you click on it the screen is overlain with a semi-transparent sheet of icons for the different divisions of programs. Click, say, Internet and all those apps. will appears in icon form for you to select the desired program to run.

If you have never taken an adventurous move before in your life, you need to take this one. Go the the Ubuntu Home page and click get the software and download the 11.04 iso. Then bring up your CD Burner program and burn the iso with the Burn Image choice. If you have a burner that will not burn an image, there are very few, search Google for ¨Image Burner free software¨ and download one. After burning the CD put the disk into the CD Drive and shut the computer down and restart it. If it is one of the newer units it will boot from the CD and if it is an older unit and does not, reboot and from the beginning hit the delete key until it begins to boot the OS or goes into set-up. If it does not go into set-up then reboot pressing, repeatedly the F-2 Key or the F-11 Key until you are in Set-Up. Read the directions on the screen and find the Boot Menu and make the first boot device your CD, then the Floppy, if you still use one and finally the Hdd. Now, hit F-10, Yes and boot into the CD. These directions will work with about 95% of all computers, for the others you need me or some other Geek to vist you and set it up.

Now, play with the Operating System and see if you like it. Nothing is being written to your Hard-Drive and you get to test without changing your system at all. If you are Okay with the Ubuntu, Install it, you can do this. As it installs you will be asked, first choice, to install side by side or use the whole disk. Chose Side by Side and answer the other questions for a dual boot, leaving your Windows in place and useful for future boot up if you fail to adapt to the free software.

God bless and happy computing!

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Gen 1:4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.

Once upon a time I said that I did not ever want to be a Christian because they had all of these things they were not allowed to do and my perception of the Christian was that they were a sad lot! Add to this that the God of the Christian was such a God of wrath that, surely, no God follower could possibly, ever, be happy. And yet I spent the better part of my first forty-five years drunk. The alcohol was the only thing that gave me any peace, so I drank!

The night that I was saved I had no means of transportation but a bicycle with two bald tires and it was a normal wet and cold Winter in Houston that year and being a Driver I would ride in the rain to work as well as ride in the rain that night to get home. I was living my life at the Club, playing my guitar and singing Country music... I was not a happy man but rather, happiness was all I searched for. I was stuck with the memories and the nightmares of close combat support in Vietnam and from that I had been placed on the Dung Heap by all three of the women I had married up to that time.

I knew that God had called me to follow Him in November of ´67 but each time I would pick up my little Silver Leather King James, nothing that made sense to me would leap out of the pages and yet the people on the TV kept saying that the Bible was the Living Word of God... it just didn´t make sense! But as I sang in the New Year of 1990, this man danced his wife past the stage and looking for his usual opportunity to fight for her, he flipped me off. Any night before that night, I would have dragged him out to the Parking Lot but on this night, at just that time, I had been overcome with the Holy Spirit and I finished the Number, picked up my equipment and had a young lady drive me to my apartment and made her very mad because I would not allow her to come in for the night.

That night, I had refrained from drinking and for some reason had not even purchased my usual quart of 101 Wild Turkey, I was stone cold sober and just as pleased with my situation as a Lark! I felt great joy and peace for the very first time in my life! I sat down on my bed, just short of one in the morning, I seem to recall, and as I read my Bible, it made perfect sense to me, it was crystal clear for the first time in my life. From December 31. 1989 until this day I have not had so much as a sip of any hard drink and I have been happy and full of the Joy of the LORD from that midnight until now.

Much of my teaching is not seen as joyful by the Lost Man but I tell you the truth, just as our LORD found joy in His creation, we also can be filled with His joy every day. My prayer for today is that each of you will try it if you haven already. Some of you have already yielded your lives to the Spirit but many have not and I´m asking you to stop playing church and to become the Church!

May God bless.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Holy Life

Jer 7:3 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place.
Jer 7:4 Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these.
Jer 7:5 For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour;
Jer 7:6 If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt:
Jer 7:7 Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.
Jer 7:8 Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit.

In last Sunday´s Scripture Lesson the question was asked that is, by and large, ignored in this world today, ¨How much of your daily lifestyle is shaped by popular culture and how much is influenced by God´s Word?¨

The Grumpy Old Men´s Class did run 7 to 10 when I assumed the privilege of teaching it, for the want of a willing teacher. Because of my teaching the possibility of living a ¨Holy Life,¨ (a life devoted to the service of God. Rom. 12:1) combined with problems that occur in any Church Family with a very Biblical Pastor, two members left the class and the fellowship of the Church. Others have left for an assortment of reasons until the class is now made up of 3 to 5 members on any given Sunday. And here we are now striving to build the LORD´s Church Family with, hopefully, dedicated Christ Followers.

In verse 3 we see Jeremiah delivering a message to God´s people that, through-out the past six thousand years, has never changed, ¨Amend your ways.¨ From the time God called Abraham away from his family in Genesis, the LORD has looked for a separate, a different people. God created Adam a perfect man with a free will and Adam chose to follow his good looking woman, Eve, and to disobey God From that moment forward the ¨world¨ has been trouble and God has been calling people, all people, to return to Him. (2Pet. 3:9)

Jesus reduced the Ten Commandments down to two Great Commandments, which if followed, will see a man or a woman obeying all 613 explanations. Yet, in spite of Jesus' statement in the Gospels that He had not come to do away with the Law and that not one title would ever pass away, the New Testament Christian, an oxymoron, has, indeed cast the Law into the Dung Heap! And yet if we go no further than the Book of Romans we find Paul, in the KJV mentioning the Law 78 times in 52 verses.

Now, up front, we are not under the penalty of the Law, we, Christians, are under Grace but the Law is very important to us for many reasons, two of them I´ll mention here. First, the Law is the perfect Word Picture, or Illustration of Jesus who is God in the flesh of a man. And second, the Law is our Code Of Conduct! This is the example we are to seek to model to the Lost Man.

Over the years I have been permanently banned from a number of web sites, claiming to be Christian, because my teaching of the importance of the Law to the Christian has offended folks. God has not put His call on any man´s life to tickle the ears of the masses. If you look at teachers like Joel Osteen and Rick Warren you will see that tickling ears builds monster followings but who are they following? If a man, any man, follows God and obeys God to receive his messages, only, from God, he will offend people. God´s ways are not preferred by most of the world, that is why The Christian Faith is such a small following.

So, can a man live a Holy life? Not without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit! When Jesus departed the Disciples, He promised the Comforter would be sent, by Him, to us. That is the Holy Spirit and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is there with any Saved Man. The difference between a God fearing Christian and a carnal Christian is the quenching of the Holy Spirit. The God fearing Christian makes the effort to listen to the Spirit he or she is indwelt by and everybody else quenches that same Spirit whether saved and indwelt or unsaved and the Spirit knocking at their heart´s door. With the indwelling of the Spirit of God and the personal commitment to follow the leading of the Spirit, any person can lead a life dedicated to God, a Holy life.

Like myself, you will have times that you stiffen your neck and disobey but, again, like myself, you will fall down, repent and be forgiven and reinstated if you love God.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


In the past 20+ years I have encountered an incredible number of positions on the matter of Hell. The Jehova´s Witness deny it´s existence even though it is found in the text of their misinterpretation, known as the New World Translation, makes a great deal of mention about it. The Universalists deny it´s eternal nature because it is their position, as explained to me, that everyone goes to Heaven... we just use different routes to get there. Then there are a group of New Testament Christians (oxymoron) that teach that God is love (this is true) and a loving God will never send anyone to eternal suffering in Hell. There are a whole catalog of other positions, none of them based on the Bible, so let´s look at scripture for a moment.

Luk 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

Luk 16:16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.

Luk 16:17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.

Luk 16:18 Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.

Luk 16:19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

Luk 16:20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

Luk 16:21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

Luk 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

Luk 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

Luk 16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

Luk 16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

Luk 16:26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

Luk 16:27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:

Luk 16:28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

Luk 16:29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

Luk 16:30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.

Luk 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

In verse fifteen we find Jesus making a remarkable and very note worthy statement that, when meditated on, has some very serious and note worthy points to consider. The Pharisees are the people being addressed in these remarks, so Jesus is speaking to and of the very religious Church Leaders of that day. Just like the most noticeable Christians of today these men are content with their position and seem to have grown some rather long pointed noses to look down as they examine folks of less stature. In verse fifteen Jesus delivers a blow, right to the mid-section.

These rulers had taken on the air of self righteousness as do a, far to, large portion of the Church Families today. Much to often, in today´s church, the average member has never read his or her Bible through the first time but instead have latched on to this or to that verse and use that, single, verse for their Justification. The Christian Adulterer (oxymoron) often will devote a good deal of effort to condemning the Homosexual, the Rapist, the Thief or some other class of sinner to make him or herself feel good about their ¨lessor¨ sin!

Now, there is a great deal more to be learned from this passage of scripture but for the moment, at least, let´s move into what some call a Parable and others, like myself, view as a literal story told to us by Jesus. It matters not, one´s position on this story being literal or parable, there is a lesson to be learned and in this story, several lessons.

Hell is a touchy subject and one that receives far to little attention in today´s, much more, liberal assemblies. The first thing I seek to do when I hear Hell mentioned is to figure out the speaking individual´s definition of Hell. Most of the Christian Church will admit that it exists but will not teach on it because it is divisive and does not seem to build numbers in the attendance column.

My understanding of Hell is from the scriptures and more often than not I am told that I´m all wet. My view on the passage above has a very large bearing on my definition of Hell. We find here that Lazarus has gone to Abraham´s Bosom, also known as Paradise from the account of the Thief on the cross, and the Rich Man we see in Hell. We know that Paradise has been emptied out (Matt. 27:52, 53) and we know that the people in Hell are there until the Second Resurrection, coming after the Millennial Reign of the Christ. (Rev. 20:1-14)

What I hope all can see here is that Hell will end up in the Lake of Fire, a.k.a. The Abyss, but Hell is not there now. For this reason, when I speak of Hell, I am not speaking of the final destination of the unforgiven. Actually, this, for the sake of P.R. and unity in the Church, where it is important, is for every Christian to agree on. The childish, sporadic debates that take place in public discussions and public forums does great damage to the Witness of today´s Christian. When we attack one another, because we do not understand the other´s position we look very foolish and under educated.

One more of the parallels I´m famous for. When I landed in the 229th ASH Bn. Before I could get my feet on the ground there was a nineteen year old WO I trying to get me to commit to flying with him and noone else. Before I landed he had already checked me out, records and reputation. (The men in the U.S. Army´s Aviation wing are very tight knit.) This one of the kids that knew better than to trust anybody over thirty, I´m already twenty-four but he saw that I was to be the Senior Huey Crewchief and he wanted only the best.

He questioned me for over twenty minutes about the aircraft to find out if I was for real and all of my answers were spot on. If we, the Christians, do not appear to know what it is we speak of, would you want to follow us?