Monday, September 21, 2015

Durango Literary Festival This Saturday September 26, 2015

Durango Literary Festival this Saturday 11:30 to 1:30. Get your tickets now while there's still time. Free lunch and great local authors to hear. I'll be there talking about one of my books and hope to get a chance to meet you.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Free Books Giveaway

Right now at www.goodreads.com they are having a drawing to give away one copy each of Old Bones and Captains's Log-Uncensored.  Hurry and sign up for free now and enter to win!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Three Sisters??

I’m always fascinated by what is NOT in the Bible sometimes as much as what is in it.  It puzzles me often, and one of the things that I’ve always been curious about is the siblings that Jesus had.  We are told that his brothers mocked him in one place and in another we are told that they were waiting outside with his mother to see him when he was speaking to a group inside a home.  Little else is mentioned about his family. 

What interests me about it is that I’m curious if Jesus had any sisters?  Women are certainly not excluded from the Bible, though references to them are rare by comparison to men.  Given the facts of life in Jesus’ times one would think he had at least a 50% chance of having sisters.  Sadly, we know little about his family life.  His father is not mentioned after Jesus is 12 years old.  Likely Joseph, already established in his trade as a carpenter, was much older than his wife, Mary.  Still, given the way of life then (lack of contraception and the desire for many children,) they could easily have had a half dozen kids if Joseph died immediately after Jesus was twelve.  So, where are the three sisters--or two, or even one?

I guess we’ll never know, and really it is not essential.  It is not the main story or reason for the New Testament accounts and perhaps would only serve to detract from the message that Jesus died for all our shortcomings, and that we have salvation and eternal life as a result if we choose Him.

Still, I’m curious!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Was George Bush in the Bush Too?

I often read the Old Testament Bible and have real surprises.  Sometimes they are perplexing and other times just weird.  For instance, in Exodus chapter 3 we find Moses out tending a sheep herd in Midian.   He sees a bush that is burning off in the distance, but it doesn’t burn up.  I am a firefighter, and I often deal with burning bushes.  Mine always tend to burn up...though I do my best to put an end to that.    Moses, finding this extremely curious, decides to go closer and investigate.  Now the part I find unusual is the passage says the Angel of the Lord appears to him in the midst of the burning bush, but when he’s closer it is God speaking in the bush.  Kinda crowded in there.   Was the Angel sort of the appointment secretary who set things up and then God came on the line?  Why didn’t God just show up in the bush in the first place? 

Now, there is nothing important about my musings on this subject.  It doesn’t do anything the change the validity of the experience or the message from God to Moses to go and free the Jews from the Egyptian Pharaoh.  But it just seems strange to have it be an Angel at first and then God speaking when Moses gets near the bush.  We assume that Moses wrote this account.  Perhaps he was saying he thought it was an Angel of the Lord and discovered later it was God himself. 

Do you find passages like this that make you scratch you head?  Let me know if you do and maybe we can figure them out together.

Monday, May 11, 2015


The Jews of Jesus time perplex me.  They were so incredibly fanatical in their faith and yet, apparently, they were not looking at and investigating any of the prophecies of the Old Testament.  In particular, Daniel 9:25-26 where he predicts (according to scholars who understand the Hebrew language better than I) that the Messiah will be killed in 33A.D.   Then there’s the Bethlehem birth and about 300 other ones to take into account as well.  Talk about failing to do your homework…and what does that say about Jews today who still don’t recognize Jesus as the Messiah?

Shocking Miscellany...LOL

I find it interesting that:

1.       Doctors perform “fecal transplants,” where donated stool is injected into a person’s colon.  More than 90% of the time, healthy bacteria from the donor stool start to grow in the patient’s colon.  If this thought provoking procedure isn’t enough for you, then consider my question…what happens the other ten percent of the time?????

2.       Also, I always wanted to know what on earth prompted A.A. Milne to name his famous storybook character Pooh Bear.  

Monday, March 23, 2015

Quote for March 23, 2015

"When you go through hard times, you might as well pay attention and learn something"  Joan Bauer

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Bringing Dead People To Life Again

For some reason while reading John’s account of the raising of Lazarus from the dead this morning, something suddenly bothered me about it…and I have to say, it bothered me a lot!  I suspect many of you may have had the same thought, so I’ll share it and my journey to resolution about it.

You see, the only place in the New Testament where the raising of Lazarus from the dead is mentioned is in the gospel of John.  His writings were circulated very much after the rest of the New Testament writings, and even the comprehensive history that Luke put together.  So why would such a powerful story not be included with Luke’s gospel, or mentioned in Matthew or Mark’s letters?  It brings into question the veracity of John’s writings.

After a good bit of thought and some research, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is a factual account.  First, presuming this miracle was unusual in Jesus’ ministry is false.  There are several accounts of his raising persons from the dead.  We know of Jairus’ daughter and the son of the widow of Nain.  Here’s the interesting part…John doesn’t mention either of these two miracles in his accounts!  Matthew and Mark fail to mention the widow’s son.  It is even possible, considering these failures to describe these events that even more people were raised from the dead that no account exists about them.  John, in his gospel even says “there are many other things that Jesus did…” that aren’t written down.

There is also the possibility that Matthew and Mark were not present when Lazarus was raised.  We have no complete accounting of the times the apostles were together as a complete group with Jesus, and no reason to believe they always were.  We only know that Thomas was there from John’s account.

There is also the problem that this event was a focusing turning point for the Jewish leadership who we are told were present.  Some of those leaders went back and “from that day on planned to kill (Jesus.)”  Perhaps the other writers sought to protect Lazarus from the wrath of the Jewish leaders, and John didn’t need to any longer, since many years had passed and Lazarus and his sisters may have truly been dead by then.

There is also one other interesting feature to the story that was pointed out to me.  Jews of that time believed that the spirit continues to come back to the body for three days after death and tries to go back into the body (bring it to life) until flesh disfigurement then makes it unrecognizable (See Genesis, Leviticus, and Ecclesiastes.)  It explains why Jesus delayed in responding to the message of Lazarus being ill and even already knew he was dying or dead.  He arrived four days after the burial, so there would be no question of it being anything but a true miracle of God.

Sunday, March 8, 2015


I couldn’t help but notice in the president’s recent speech in Selma that if he had chosen to use one-tenth the energy, emotion, and commitment in speaking about people who cut people’s heads off, who bury people alive or crucify children for their beliefs, we would have defeated radical Islam long ago.

I feel that celebrations like Selma are most often used to just fan the flames of racism rather than celebrating the extremely valuable and dedicated sacrifices of those who fought for equal rights.  Along with positive comments about how far we’ve come, the president also clearly implied “those white racist MoFos are still out there.”  I couldn’t believe that despite his own administration failing to find any civil rights racism in Ferguson (or Florida regarding Treyvon Martin for that matter,) he still chose to use it as an example of ongoing racism…if you ask me, I would agree there was racism in those towns…the people in Ferguson who are racist were Al Sharpton, Eric Holder, the President and the blacks who demonstrated and rioted in the streets, not the whites of that area.  White Christians are on Obama’s hit list, even though it was white Christians who led the fight to abolish slavery in the 1860s and have fought for equal rights and continue to do so.

I have little respect for this president’s administrative skills, his lies, and his consistent efforts to undermine the constitution.   He had a great opportunity in his Selma speech as well as in his presidency as a whole, and as far as I’m concerned, he completely blew it.  Mr. President, you have two years to prove me wrong.  It may not sound like it, but I would love it if you did.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Miscellaneous Silliness For Your Day

Adultery is still illegal in 21 states in the U.S.   In a few it’s a felony.  Colorado just repealed its laws on it last year, but in the west, Arizona, Utah and Idaho still maintain it’s a crime.  These archaic laws are rarely enforced, but with the modern societal trends I think we could probably balance the federal budget if we’d collect fines on these folks!!

Medical science now says they can take the head of one person and graft it onto the healthy body of another person who has died of a bodily injury that leaves the brain and head intact and fully functional.  That, in itself creates a problem since we currently define death as “brain death.”  Think about what that will mean ethically, morally, legally etc.   Will aging people of means get new bodies when theirs deteriorates?  Just buy a new head from some willing person who is told they have terminal cancer and decides to go to Oregon and kill themselves painlessly on their own time schedule to avoid the misery of slowly dying.  Will Hillary get to run in 2070 with a new body?  Will the new body make her a different person?  How does it work if your head is 70 and your body is that of a 19 year-old hottie.  What happens if you are female and the only donor body is male…hmmm?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Obama Slams Christians

There’s been a world of controversy recently about President Obama going to the National Prayer Breakfast and comparing Christianity to Radical Muslim Terrorists.  I thought it was shockingly stupid and historically inaccurate to make that comparison.  The fundamental difference in the whole thing is that Christianity teaches peace and non-violence.  Yes the Old Testament is filled with violence sanctioned at times by God, and all of it was time dependent and site specific.  That is the fundamental difference between Christianity, Judaism and Islam.  The Muslim Qur’an and the Hadith all espouse repeatedly acts of violence against anyone who fails to accept Islam as their faith.  They are not site specific nor time dependent.  Their leader and Prophet, Mohammed, was a violent warrior who attacked other civilizations and killed those who refused to accept Islam as their faith.  It was the way he acquired his empire, and it continued to be the prime way it was expanded after his death.  It is codified in all their sacred writings as part of their belief system.

I would also suggest that President Obama was inaccurate in his presentation to broad brush that the acts of terror were committed in the name of Christ.  I’m sure some were, but the bulk of Christianity stood against slavery, and the crusades were carried out in defense of Islamic terror.  The inquisition was politically motivated, as were Catholic wars against Protestants in England.
I would also offer here that no one, including me, suggests that all Muslims are in favor of aggression and terror, but I will say that as a group they aren’t denouncing and resisting it vigorously enough…perhaps out of fear they will be killed by another Muslim for it.

So, let’s put Obama’s speech in simpler terms.  Suppose you are having breakfast one morning and your wife comes in from the bathroom and says “I am so tired of you leaving all your hair and splashing water all over the sink every time you use it.  You are such a slob.”  Now, you, being sensitive to all this and secretly wishing you could be allowed to be a slob without criticism like when you were a single man, need to respond.  How do you respond?  Most likely you say your secret pet peeve about your wife, “Oh yeah, well last week I realized you drove your car without changing the oil for 12,000 miles. You’re so thoughtless and careless, and now I have to fix it.”
How well did that one work for you?   I bet not very effectively.  If you had answered that you were sorry, it is a little sloppy of you and you would try to do better.  It would have gone well.
Pretty much what Obama did was to say it the first way.  He tried to demean his critics, and to shift the focus away from the current problem.

(I realize most women will say: “huh! it’s not my job to get the oil changed in the first place!”  Sorry, it was the only example I could think of offhand…LOL.  I had considered using another female bathroom analogy and discarded the idea pretty quickly!  Too gross!)

Sunday, February 8, 2015


I’ve always been fascinated by the story in Matthew and in Mark in the New Testament where Jesus goes up on the mountain with Peter, James and his brother John and there meets with Elijah and Moses who pop in to visit.  Jesus is transfigured into what basically would amount to a million watt radiating figure, and he has a chat with them about his coming death.  Both of the long dead visitors are brightly transfigured as well, and Peter in his classic bumbling approach offers to build them shelters.  Then God speaks from the sky about how pleased he is with his Son and that they need to obey him.

Now all that is pretty amazing stuff, but really it’s not what I’m fascinated with so much as the fact that neither Peter nor John ever mention it in their writings?  I suppose those things may never have been important enough to them to be related, but it just doesn’t seem consistent considering the other things they did relate about miraculous events.  I mean dead people showing up and God talking from the sky are pretty classic “miracles” so why leave them out?  Did they write about them and the information was lost?  Many scoffers would say it’s just made up, and that’s why it’s not related by the parties who were there, but you would think it would have been challenged since those parties who were there were likely still alive when the letters Matthew and Mark wrote were being circulated.

I’d be interested in your opinions?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Stick It To The Rich?

I am so sick of hearing this nonsense about the rich paying their fair share of the federal income taxes.  The top 40 percent of taxpayers already pay ALL the income tax and the associated credits to lower income brackets.  The top 1% of earners, that are very rich indeed, wound up paying 69% of the total federal tax burden.  These are the statistics from the Congressional Budget Office.

Now I ask you, what is a “fair share”?  The Obama administration has been able to almost double the earned income tax rate on investment capital so that it matches other income tax levels, and I can support that.  But the fair share concept wants to go much further than that.  A great many of those not paying a lot of income tax in lower income tax brackets are actually receiving federal money…and quite a bit of it in some cases.  I don’t have a problem with the very wealthy having a heavier burden on paying taxes, but I do think there is a point when society gets so envious of the rich that they want to punish them and take all their earned wealth to give to those who don’t work to earn (and in many cases WON'T work to earn.)  It pretty much tells the story of human history if you look at it.  When there are lots of rich and lots of poor and no middle class, the poor rise up and annihilate the rich in war.  In America we are experiencing it in a political tax war rather than a physical fight, but it could easily turn to violence someday if we follow the historical model.  And a common end result of all that is a total collapse of society and a takeover by outside interests.  Think hard on that one for a while if you will.

What I really find funny is when they’ve done “ask the man on the street interviews” where they ask what you think a fair tax rate should be for the wealthy…the average person says 20% or thereabouts.  The truly rich pay a rate far more than that already…even the middle class earners do!

I'm no rich guy, but I sure do see something un-American and unethical is this idea of continuing to scalp the wealthy to pour into social programs and boondoggle waste that the federal government is so famous for doing.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out

Four hundred years ago, English historian Thomas Fuller wrote that "riches enlarge rather than satisfy appetites."  It seems there’s always a desire for more.  Nowhere is that more apparent than in the United States.  In the end, your things become the owners of you.  Why not invest in your family instead?  Take the time to invest in your children, your wife, your birth family and even your friends.  I wish I had taken even more time to do that, and I thought I was doing pretty well at the time.

One of the things in America that I find so disturbing is the lack of connection we have with one another, and our "things" seem to facilitate that lack.  Loneliness predominates hugely in our society that values things more than people.  We interface with our video games and facebook “friends” rather than sitting across the table from a real person and finding out what is really on their mind and in their heart.  What is the comparable measure of a good hug versus getting a “like” on facebook!!!

And it's not just our preoccupation with money and things that's distressing.  How many times have you said “How are you” to someone?  And the answer is always “Doing well.”  How true do you think that is?  How often do you just turn to the next person and give or get the same answer?  How often do we take the time to really talk and know what’s going on in someone’s heart and mind?  How do we show we care?  Do we follow through with more than just platitudes and a few words?  I know I am certainly guilty of all these things.

Someone once said: "the real measure of your wealth is how much you'd be worth if you lost all your money."   I’ve always loved Eric Clapton’s version of “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out” but the lyrics place the emphasis on money while its real theme is being loved for who you are and not what you spend and the things you own.  Sorry, he who dies with the most toys does not win anything.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Some Post Christmas Thoughts

I’ve always been struck by the “Christmas Story” as it’s told in the Bible. 

In modern terms we’d put it something along the lines of “some girl from the ‘hood gets knocked up mysteriously.  She says she hasn’t had sex, and that God made her pregnant.   Her folks aren’t thrilled with this turn of events, but her boyfriend marries her anyway.  The IRS decides everybody has to go back to where the first person in their family came to our country and set up a home.  So she and her boyfriend hitchhike all the way from Harlem to Camden New Jersey.  She goes into labor when they get there and there isn’t a single motel that will let them stay there since they are all full with people complaining about the @#$%@###  IRS.  The owner feels sorry for the kid in labor and says they can sleep in his garage.  The baby is born and they wind up clearing out the beer cans from the back seat of the motel owners Chevy and wrap the baby in some clean grease rags from the workbench.  While they are marveling at the fact that they got through the ordeal of the birth without any help, a crowd of escapees from the local halfway house for paroled felons tromps into the garage with them unannounced and say that a bunch of singing ‘Angels’ told them that the Messiah was born here and they decided to come and praise him.  Mary takes all this into account and treasures these things in her memory and later tells this story to several of the men who become the followers of her Son, who is eventually executed on trumped up charges of treason and sedition as a result of his teaching a philosophy of loving God and Loving your neighbor.  He is deemed psychotic since he also claims to be God, but is an unusual twist of Supreme Court logic is publically executed anyway (with hour by hour coverage of the event on MSNBC.)  Oddly enough, later, stories begin circulating on the internet that he rose from the dead and was seen by his followers.  Most people discount the stories, but a few ardent followers set forth to spread the news to the world.”

Honestly, that is about how it happened.  The story was recounted by shepherds and women, who were counted as so lowly and dishonest that their testimony wasn’t even allowed in court actions.  Yet from this humble beginning rose a God/man that changed the course of history more than all the other people in the world have throughout time.  His wise messages and his actions in life of healing the sick and raising the dead are still discussed, and though witnessed by hundreds of people and attested to by dozens, he is still questioned. 

So what do we all do with this Jesus of Nazareth?  People don’t die for a lie they know to be a lie.  Though the men claiming they witnessed that he performed miracles and rose from the dead all were killed for their beliefs, the world still mostly rejects Him.  He is called wise by many who disbelieve the claims of his miracles and his being God.  I think calling Him wise is the one thing we can’t do.  Either He was God on earth, or He was a lunatic.  Calling a lunatic wise makes no sense…so I’m going with the “God” thing, if you don’t mind.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Koko and Betty White

The Bible is pretty silent on any discussion about the fate of animals in this world.  Do they have souls?  Certainly there are those of us who are pet owners who marvel at the intelligence and personality of our pets.  In some cases the animals are clearly self-aware and intelligent enough to communicate in a sense that we as humans would equate with members of our own species.  To demonstrate this, I recommend that you go to this website link and see for yourself:


I've always felt the Bible was God's message to humans and that animals existed under a different code altogether.  I try not to be God, and I figure I'll leave the question and fate of those animals I call self-aware and intelligent up to God and not me.  In the meantime, those animals need special treatment.  We can't even treat other humans very well in many cases, and animals often fare far worse.

I'm not here particularly to advocate a PETA stand, but I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on animals.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

God's Plan?

I have a theory that when God made the angels it was his first pass at the idea of having fellowship with other beings.  He gave them free will and eternally immortal bodies.  The fellowship thing was going pretty good for a while until a few of them decided they wanted to be in charge.  Satan led them in revolt against God.  So after God tosses them on their ears and they get to rule earth, He creates mankind for his fellowship.  However, learning from the experience of giving eternal life to Angels who didn't all want to be in fellowship with God, He makes Mankind of limited life span with an expiration date--with the option to do a one-time offer of extension upon death.  That offer of extension was contingent upon proving oneself a faithful child of God, believing in his Goodness and promises.  God figures if they can hold up to that in relatively blind faith under the stressful and tempting conditions of a fleshly existence on earth, they just might be good for eternal fellowship in Heaven with Him.  He attempts to get them to sign on the dotted line, and not surprisingly most of the humans decline the offer.  So it proves up his plan to select only the ones that will be in eternal fellowship with Him gladly.  

Having said that, I have implied that an all knowing and all powerful God made a mistake when He created the angels.  But if He did it knowingly, He apparently had a reason for a better outcome.  I’d be curious to hear your thoughts.

Monday, January 12, 2015

God's Software?

The Holy Spirit is one of the most neglected and strange concepts in Christianity.  I suspect most scholars wish people wouldn’t ask questions about the “third person of the Trinity.”  I don’t blame them, I am often baffled by the whole business myself. 

I especially have a problem when I read Paul in his letter to the Roman church where he says “The Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us" (Romans 8:26.)  It makes it clearly sound like we aren’t capable of praying and talking to God.  Frankly, it is made to seem like we need a mouthpiece akin to having a shyster lawyer in court to argue our case.  Paul makes it sound like we are too inept to even know what to pray about.  I find that completely inconsistent with life and certainly inconsistent with my experience.  I suspect you do, too.

Is the Holy Spirit then some kind of translator mechanism…a Dragon software for speech to spirit instead of speech to text on your computer?  I doubt it.  Jesus taught us how to pray and never mentioned anything about needing it translated.  He just said keep on asking.

I heard it expressed once as a kid that the Holy Spirit is more like a phone line that carries communication to God, and for me that seems to work best.  Paul didn’t have the concept of a phone line to use, so I’ll give him some slack that he was trying to express it as best he could.

Share your thoughts on the subject if you'd like!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Quote for the New Year 2015

"God has reasons for not quarantining evil right now, you need to develop virtues for this life and the life hearafter.  This earth is an uncomfortable home, but it's a great gymnasium for the hereafter."   
                                                                          ...from Frank Turek and Norman Geisler.

The Wedding At Cana

I keep coming back to my fascination with the story of Jesus at the wedding in Cana.  Here they are running out of wine and Jesus’ mother is concerned and wants Jesus to do something about it.  Now to get to this point we have to assume that she already knows that Jesus has special abilities.  How does she know that?

Did Jesus cause a wind to vacuum the cave they probably lived in?  Did Jesus decide to take shortcuts in carpentry and just tell the wood to take the form it needed to for the customer?  I mean really, some reason is there for her to go to Jesus and tell him to do something to solve the “no more wine” problem.

I also get a kick out of the fact that she tells him to fix things and then just walks off expecting him to do what she said…even though he said it wasn’t time for him to show himself.  Now that is a typical mom, tell your kid to do something and then just walk off.  And what does he do?  He does what mom says.

Why wasn’t it time for Jesus to show himself?  I am still mystified by that.  Did you know that the Bible predicts exactly when the Messiah will come (check out Daniel 9:25-26 which predicts 483 years ‘til the crucifixion in the year 33 A.D.)  I didn’t realize that until recently.  It’s very specific to the very year.  I’m thinking that Jesus knew that as well and was very careful not to have his public ministry start too soon.  The time frames for his crucifixion were to fall exactly within the predicted timeframes of the Old Testament predictions for the Messiah.  

Newsweek, Once Again A Disappointment

As we start the new year, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that failing magazine, Newsweek, has sunk to new journalistic lows.  Publishing Kurt Eichenwald’s article attacking Christians is patently hate mail and lacking in any journalistic effort.  It presents no research by a writer who has no qualification to say any of the things he says.  No effort is made to quote any experts in the field as it puts forth its vitriolic spew.  It is filled with factual error throughout.  We live in a free society and he is entitled to his opinion, but what makes this important is that Newsweek published it and obviously in a desperate attempt to gin up failing circulation.  Sadly, it typifies the journalistic quality of the magazine.