Saturday, January 26, 2013

Cause Celebre

The Colonel celebrates completion of yet another air-breathing lap 'round ol' Sol today.

Well, celebrates is probably not the appropriate word.

More like acknowledges.

Begrudgingly acknowledges.

There was a time, far back in the halcyon days of his youth that the Colonel was of the fairly certain belief that he wouldn't live to see his 30th birthday.

He had no death wish, mind you.  Nor even a paranoid sense of doom.  Just a firm grasp on the statistics attached to his chosen profession.

So, perhaps the Colonel should be in more of a celebratory mood this morning.  After all, his bones are not bleaching white on some forgotten battlefield.

Indeed, there is much to celebrate in the Colonel's life.

Please indulge the Colonel as he devotes a few of the rapidly diminishing cognitive cells lodged in forgotten corners of his cavernous cranium to an accounting of reasons for celebration.

There's strong hot coffee in his mug.  That, in and of itself, is a situation that brings cheer to the Colonel when little else does.

He has a chair in which to sit while he composes this post for the perusing pleasure of the three dozen of you who will stumble across it in error.  There have been a lot of times in the Colonel's life when a chair was luxury. 

There's a roof over his head.  It ain't canvass. 

The comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda is within physical reach.  At some point this morning, she will stir from her unneeded beauty sleep and tell the Colonel how much she loves him.  That is a very good thing.

The sun is rising over the Colonel's vast holdings here at the shallow northern end of deep southern nowhere.  Want to know the best thing about this patch of Mississippi?  It's the Colonel's.

The Republic still stands.  Despite the best efforts of those who would fundamentally transform it into something far less than the "patriots' dream."

God is still in control of the fires burning at the heart of every star in the Universe and every calorie burning in the Colonel's core.

Yep, much to celebrate.

Monday, January 07, 2013

No More Kissin' the Bull

A few days ago the Colonel "pulled the plug" on his participation on FaceBook.  Were he a "tweater" he would have likewise truncated his Twitter account. 

At the time he was reacting to disappointment in his own gross lapse in judgment, propriety, and self-discipline with regard to a recent series of posts.  At least that was the proximate cause for his self-imposed social media death penalty.

In truth, the Colonel had been experiencing increasing unease over the past year or so with FaceBook for a variety of reasons he will enumerate below.

1.  The Colonel was increasingly uneasy with the uncivil, derisive, and downright nasty tone exhibited by many of his "friends" toward anyone with a different point of view.  FaceBook has become more an opportunity for ad hominem personal attacks on opponents than a forum for critical analysis and reasoned discussion of issues.  Perhaps it was never designed for the latter.  If it was designed for the former, then the Colonel has far better use of his time and few remaining brain cells.

2.  The insipid nature of the vast majority of posts on FaceBook have served to drag the Colonel's already severely challenged grasp on maturity and acceptable adult behavior down to a level approaching that of a caged rhesus monkey.  Even lower, perhaps -- down to the level of an LSU fan. 

(See what the Colonel means about the corrosive nature of FaceBook on the thin veneer of civil discourse?)

3.  The Colonel's lady, the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda, was increasingly vocal about the amount of time the Colonel spent perusing FaceBook posts and crafting ad hominem personal attacks on his opponents, beginning to refer to the Colonel's iPad as his "mistress."  The comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda had even begun to closely track the hours the Colonel was spending on FaceBook, announcing elapsed e-time at the end of each day and claiming lately that the Colonel had reached the six hour mark.

(Not even close, Dear! Five and one half hours, tops.)

Which leads the Colonel to the real reason he has pulled the plug on his participation on FaceBook.

You see, it has to do with a man named Hosea, and what God inspired him to tell the Northern Kingdom of Israel nearly 2800 years ago.

Hosea prophesied that God was about to allow the ascendant Assyrian Empire to gobble up Israel as punishment for their apostasy -- their faithless falling away from the one true God who had made the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob "His People;" who had brought them out of Egypt and sustained them with miracle after miracle after miracle; who had gone before them in the land of Canaan and defeated giant enemies in walled cities; and who was, as Hosea wrote, their one and only savior (Hosea 13:4). 

Hosea was writing to a people who still called themselves "God's Chosen" and yet practiced every abomination imaginable.  Not only did they worship the false god Baal like the Canaanites, but they took perverse pride in worshipping Baal BETTER than the Canaanites.  Hosea wrote that the people of Israel weren't just influenced by the culture of the societies around them, they

"...sin more and more;
they make idols for themselves from their silver,
cleverly fashioned images,
all of them the work of craftsmen.
It is said of these people,
'They offer human sacrifices!
They kiss calf-idols!'" (Hosea 13:2)

The Canaanite Baal-worshippers were in awe of the Israelites' Baal- worshipping fanaticism!  The Israelites were doing things (infanticide, chief among them) that they -- the Canaanites -- no longer did!  

The Israelites had a slobbering love affair with Baal -- not only bringing sacrifices to the giant metal bull idol representing him, but also demonstrating their extreme devotion by kissing the bull.

FaceBook had become the Colonel's bull of apostasy.

In the fourteenth and last chapter of his prophetic work, Hosea implored God's people to return to Him, and gave them the simple calculus for their free return to the full grace and love of God.

Forgive all our sins
and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips."  Hosea 14:2   

"The fruit of our lips" actually translates into English what was originally meant to say "we won't kiss the bull anymore, but give that reverence to You, God."

For the Colonel, "no more kissin' the bull" not only means no more FaceBook -- it also means all that time he spent "kissin' the bull" now belongs to God.  Not gonna replace kissin' the bull with some other waste of God-given time.

For the past several years, posts on this blog have automatically posted to FaceBook.  This is the last one that will.  The Colonel is, admittedly, the chief of hypocrites here at the shallow northern end of deep southern nowhere, but he ain't that hypocritical.  The Colonel will still post on his blog -- -- from time to time, but the two dozen of you who regularly waste valuable rod and cone time perusing posts hereon will have to access it directly.

Okay, Miss Brenda, "the mistress" has been sent packing.