Complete or finished?

January 3, 2016 — Leave a comment

No dictionary has ever yet defined
the almost imperceptible line
between the words completed and finished.
It may seem of little import,
but lexophiles will still resort
to measures great so as not to diminish
the importance of the word –
whether in print, or simply heard.

Samsundar Balgobin, a Guyanese linguist,
when asked for the difference could not resist
the urge to give a humorous reply.
When asked to explain the difference
in words that made some common sense,
he gave a terse example to go by.
Although it is not a definition,
his answer explains the situation.

His question from the audience
said, “Some say there’s no difference
between the words ‘finished’ and ‘complete.’
They appear to be such diverse words,
I believe that idea is absurd.
Please give me an answer I can repeat.
Mr. Balgobin thought for a moment,
and then gave it this erudite comment.

The words he used, I happily repeat,
“When you marry the right woman, you are complete.”
He followed this with the words I can’t deny,
nor can I their import diminish,
“If you marry the wrong woman, you are finished.”
Then, he spoke words that men can live by
(and my vocabulary is replenished)
“If the right one sees you with the wrong one, you’re completely finished.”
© 2015, cbs

Welcome to 2016 CE

December 28, 2015 — Leave a comment

Welcome to 2016 CE.
Does that caption bother you as it once bothered me?
Of course, it’s a part of political correctness
which has brought our country to a point of weakness.
To be fair, this change is not from government.
Some Jews and academia are those that dissent.

In A.D. 525, a monk, Dionysius,
devised the present numbering system for us.
The old system stressed the martyring of Christians.
He desired to stress his Lord’s incarnation.
The years before Christ’s birth, he labeled BC,
and those that came after, as A.D. (Anno Domini).

Christians believe Christ created the earth,
and, therefore, existed before His earthly birth,
so Before Christ, or BC, is in error you see.
The designation, A.D., stands for Anno Domini
which, when translated, means the year of our Lord,
and is a term from Latin, a language long ignored.

Those who dissent from the present terminology
practice inserting the letters CE and BCE.
CE stands for Common Era and B for Before.
If we substitute Christian for Common, why argue more.
The term Christian era was used in the sixteenth century,
and describes this period of time accurately.

Christians have many battles they must fight
and, in our efforts for Him, our Lord delights.
Some fights have so little to be gained
and are not worth the effort nor the pain.
Let their CE stand for Common Era,
but make our Christian Era even clearer.

This problem now does not have much portent,
but rest assured that our government
will, trying to be politically correct,
adopt the CE in all its context..
So think of Christian era when you hear
my “Happy 2016 CE New Year!”
© 2015. cbs

Lindstrom’s Gifts

December 21, 2015 — Leave a comment

Lindstrom had problems that were mostly financial
so, when he gave gifts, they were never substantial.
But he never allowed there to be an occasion
when he failed to give Susquanna one.

His gifts were usually determined by a need
for their impoverished family to succeed –
such as a lamp, or six pairs of stockings,
a microwave, or some pot for cooking.

On the other hand, Susquanna, his wife,
wished for some things that would spice up her life –
something that was simply sentimental,
or possibly only ornamental.

She dreamed of a mink coat, a diamond ring,
a brand-new car – just anything
to prove that Lindstrom truly loved her
and was willing to sacrifice for her.

Lindstrom’s rich uncle, Joshua, succumbed
and left to his nephew a quite large sum
of money, so he could now finance
Susquanna’s idea of a gift for romance.

But Lindstrom was set in his practical way,
and for Susquanna’s next birthday
he gave her a cemetery lot in the shade,
and a beautiful casket that was ivory inlaid.

Susquanna held her peace, but started campaigning
by hinting, showing pictures and mentioning,
by dragging Lindstrom window shopping
that always featured a diamond ring.

Lindstrom thought it was all absurd
and finally decided to speak his word.
“Why is a diamond all that I hear
when you haven’t used the present I gave you last year?”
© 2015, cbs

Surrogate

December 21, 2015 — Leave a comment

Joseph must have felt quite odd
being surrogate father to the son of God.
But he had received that angelic visit
saying the child was of the Holy Spirit.

Can you imagine what folks would say
each time the couple passed their way?
The gossip must have been intense;
“Their story just does not make sense.”

Then having to go to Bethlehem
to pay the taxes levied on them
must have seemed “the straw that killed” –
but prophecy must be fulfilled.

To have his “son” born in a stable
because he simply was not able
to find a room there in the inn
must have seemed a mortal sin.

But then, the shepherds and angels came
to glorify this place of shame
and, later, wise men bearing gifts
that could finance a flight to Egypt.

Informed in a dream of Herod’s death,
Joseph took his family to Nazareth,
again fulfilling the vision foreseen,
“He shall be called a Nazarene.”

Joseph was amazed when, at age 12, in the temple,
Jesus taught the elders as if they were simple.
Then, it was back to the carpenter shop
and it seemed their relationship would never stop.

But, Joseph must have died before Christ’s ministry.
He did not meet His disciples, nor enjoy His victories.
Nor did he see Him writhe on the cross in agony
as surrogate in death on the cross for you and me.
© 2015, cbs

Booker T. Washington

December 14, 2015 — Leave a comment

Did Booker T. Washington have a crystal ball
a hundred years ago when he made this call?
“There is certain class of race problem solvers
who do not care if the patient recovers
because as long as the disease is persisting
they have… an easy way of making a living
and an easy medium with which to make
themselves prominent before the public.”

Booker T. Washington was born in slavery,
but Lincoln’s proclamation made him free.
From Virginia to West Virginia, the family moved
to reunite his mother with her true love,
a man named Washington Ferguson.
Needing a surname, Booker chose Washington
at age nine, when education was begun.

He worked in coal mines to fund his pursuit
of further education at Hampton Institute.
His clothes were so ragged, he was nearly not admitted,
but this young black man was exceptionally committed.
After Hampton came Washington, DC,
where he studied for six months at Wayland Seminary.

Appointed the first head of Tuskegee Institute,
he guided this teachers’ school from its roots
until the very day he died,
and made it a point of great black pride.
He sought black advance by education,
and not from physical confrontation.

Tuskegee University stands today
as tribute to the man who paved the way
for many black people to gain higher station
through the process of higher education.
Oh, that black leaders of modern time
would adhere to his statement, near sublime,
when he said, “I shall allow no man
to belittle my soul by making me hate him.”
© 2015, cbs

How Rich Are You?

December 14, 2015 — Leave a comment

If you want to know how rich you are,
you do not start with your billfold
nor with the cost of your vaunted car
or how many shares of stock you hold.
You do not count the cost of your home
or whether you own an airplane.
It does not matter where you have gone,
or if you have garnered worldwide fame.
You may have won a huge election
or be some big company’s CEO,
or have brought some great product to perfection,
or be celebrated for what you know.

Oh, wealth is fine in its own place;
and fame or power can bring you joy,
but it’s a lie that the winner of the race
is the one who finishes with the most toys.

If you will know how rich you are,
add up those things that you will keep
in spite of death or disaster.
You’ll find your riches run quite deep.
Those things that money cannot buy,
such as faithful friends and family,
they will endure though time does fly,
and memories last eternally.

A close relationship with God
and true love for your fellow man
are riches while we’re on this sod
that will not fade when we leave this land.

Wherever your treasure is, my good man,
there, also, will be your heart;
and none of the earthly things will stand
when from this world we must depart.

To spend all your time seeking this world’s wares
is just as foolish and nondescript
as rearranging the deck chairs
on a rapidly sinking pleasure ship!
© 2015, cbs

Give Thanks Daily

November 24, 2015 — Leave a comment

There is not a possible way
we can, in a single day,
find the adequate words to say,
“Thank you, God, for your help in this foray.”

Life is a beautiful, complex thing.
Each day is an opportunity in the offing,
but it usually brings a new set of problems
along with His promise He will help solve them.

We should give thanks for the gift of life,
for our family – our husband or wife,
our children, our parents, the rest of our kin –
in this wonderful world He lets us live in.

We should thank Him daily for our health;
for what He gives us in the way of wealth;
for beautiful flowers, plants and trees
that are brought to fruition by tiny bees.

The list goes on almost endlessly
of things for which we should grateful be –
from the earliest dawn of history
to the day we live in presently.

But we should be most grateful today
that God has made for us a way
to live with Him eternally
when our time on earth has ceased to be.

God sent Jesus Christ, His son,
who took our sins – yes, every one –
and paid our price, though He was guiltless.
Now, we can face God’s judgment sinless.
© 2015, cbs

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

November 16, 2015 — Leave a comment

1632-1723

He never wrote a scientific paper.
In fact, his profession was that of a draper
who wanted to closely examine the fibers
of the cloths from which he fashioned his wares.
Lenses that were used for magnification
in that day were prone to much imperfection,
so he chose a project that had as its end
the making of a more perfect lens.

Superheated glass rods were pulled apart
producing fine “whiskers” with which he could start.
These “whiskers” when melted would produce
thin, small, clear spheres that he could use
for more than 200 times magnification –
more than any lens since man’s creation.
Van Leeuwenhoek shared his work with Dr. Reinier de Graaf
who marveled and, on Van Leeuwenhoek’s behalf,
endorsed it to the Royal Society in London
who, at first, accepted his reports with abandon.

But when Leeuwenhoek reported one-cell “animalcules,”
they were quick to brand him an absolute fool
since the teaching that prevailed at that time station
was the smallest animals come from spontaneous generation.
Van Leeuwenhoek persisted, so they sent a committee
to “once and for all” debunk this atrocity.
When the committee saw the microscopic eggs,
they realized that theory no longer had legs.

The first man to view human red blood corpuscles,
the movement of sperm, the striations in muscle
did not think of himself as the scientist,
but as one who received a God-given gift.
The first man to view many things thought odd
had a strong belief in a creator God.
He considered his work as substantiation
of the wonders of God’s miraculous creation.
© 2015, cbs

Be Still My Soul

November 8, 2015 — Leave a comment

Be still my soul, though all the world around you
seems teetering, and ready for a fall.
The arms of God still lovingly surround you,
and He is still the master of it all.

Though futile war and human devastation
seem now to be the order of the day,
our all -wise God controls our destination
and, in His time, will show us our way.

Be still my soul, our God can still be trusted
to bring our ship home safely through the gale.
Though, with this world, we have become disgusted,
He’ll bring us home to Heaven without fail.

His word is still a lamp unto our feet
and perfect road map to our new abode,
where we shall rest when our journey is complete,
and we lay down our heavy, earthly load.

Be still my soul, the best is yet to come –
when we shall see our Master face to face
and hear His wondrous words to us, “Well done!”
to those who know salvation by His grace.

This is no time to idly stand by
and watch, while men and women go to Hell.
The time is short. The days and hours fly.
The thing for us to do is go, and tell.

Be still my soul, the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently thy cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
in every change, He faithful will remain
(C. von Schlegel, 1752)
© 2015, cbs

Breast Lumps

November 2, 2015 — Leave a comment

A lump in the breast may be cause for concern,
but no cause for panic as you try to learn
the exact nature of that small nodule.
If you wait long, you’re playing the fool.

The first place to go is your local physician,
remembering well that he’s no magician
with a magic wand to tell if it’s cancer.
He’ll order a mammogram to help with the answer.

The technologist will stretch out your breast
so thin that the sound waves may pass through it best.
Those waves leave a picture of light and dark shadows
that doctors interpret who are trained in those matters.

He may say your lump is a scar or a cyst
that should be checked later to see if it persists.
He may not be able to diagnose with certainty,
and suggest that you have a breast biopsy.

The breast biopsy is done by a surgeon
either suctioned through a needle or removed by excision.
The tissue removed goes to pathology
to determine, is there cancer or is it cancer free?

A cancer-free specimen ends the process,
but a cancer diagnosis means the process must progress.
Your disease is classified, stage I through stage IV –
from no spread evident to more, more, more.

A treatment plan is laid out by the oncologist and surgeon
that may include chemotherapy, surgery and/or radiation
depending on the cancer’s stage at time of discovery.
The cancer’s stage when found is its prognosis key
for five year survival rates and becoming cancer free.
Stage I rate is 100%, stage II falls to ninety-three.
Stage IV falls to 22%. So early detection is key.
© 2015, cbs