From Where I Sit – Observation 11

This is a series of musings from my big leather (really broken-in – to the point of broken-down) chair.



  • From the department of “duh” – On the front page of the Money section in USA Today, the main headline screamed these words: CEOs had better watch their steps to keep their jobs – Greed, bad judgment, lack of results can increasingly get them ousted! Is this news? I don’t know about you, but in my job, “greed, bad judgment, and lack of results” surely would lead to me “being ousted.” In fact, I can’t really think of any jobs right off the top of my head that list greed, poor judgment, and poor productivity as requirements for employment. Upon considering this headline further, though, I have decided that it is headline material. The fact that the words “can increasingly” are in the sentence makes the topic newsworthy. They would suggest that, heretofore, “greed, bad judgment, and lack of results” did not get you ousted from CEO positions. Actually, the words “can increasingly” infer that it still isn’t a given that “greed, bad judgment, and lack of results” will get you fired. Seeing as how I am capable of all three of these qualities, where can we sign up for some of these CEO jobs?

From Where I Sit – Observation 10

This is a series of musings from my big leather (really broken-in – to the point of broken-down) chair.



  • A few years ago a series of movies came out which were called Men in Black. The premise of these movies was that there were aliens living among us, undetected by most of us. While I was initially skeptical, I have recently begun to be more open to the possibility; and today I think I found compelling evidence that this concept is factual. You see, I went to Subway for lunch. It started out well enough. Even though it was the middle of the noon hour, there was only one being in front of me in line. It seemed like she was a typical young female… until she began to try to order. She had no idea what kinds of foods they had. She needed to see the different types of bread which were available, and she didn’t know that you order condiments after the meat and cheese are applied. Now here’s the thing: Subway is the LARGEST food chain in the WORLD, recently having surpassed McDonalds – with over 33,000 restaurants worldwide, 24,000 of which are in the US (Which is where I was attempting to order). It would be a statistical improbability that she had never encountered a Subway restaurant before, given her apparent age of 20-something years. To corroborate my findings, this sort of thing happens with increasing frequency. You find life-forms in line at Burger King or McDonalds asking things like: do you have a combination meal that includes fries and a drink? Or, do you have kids’ meals (hello, Happy Meal)? These are perfectly logical questions… IF YOU JUST LANDED IN A SPACESHIP FROM MARS! There is also another, more subtle sign that I have observed: some of these beings will stand in a line for 5-10 minutes at a fast-food restaurant and then when their turn arrives at the cash register, they begin to study the menu above the cashier’s head, as if they are totally unaware of the fact that the menu has been there for the entire time that they have been in line. For years, I dismissed these aberrations as just that – aberrations… abnormal behavior from lower aptitude humans, but I can’t ignore the mounting evidence: there is a growing army of aliens infiltrating our planet. However, all hope isn’t lost. They will probably all starve to death trying to figure out how to order their food.

From Where I Sit = Observation 9

This is a series of musings from my big leather (really broken-in – to the point of broken-down) chair.



  • If you don’t want to believe in God, do not read Isaiah 66:7-10! It just might be the most stunning prophecy in the Bible. “’Before she goes into labor, she gives birth; before the pains come upon her, she delivers a son. Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children. Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?’ says the LORD. ‘Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?” says your God. “Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice greatly with her, all you who mourn over her.’” Isaiah wrote these words around 700 B.C., yet they predicted an event that happened in 1948, over 2600 years later! Take just a moment right now and try to predict anything… anything for the year 4612 A.D. Preposterous, isn’t it? Now, to up the degree of difficulty, try to make a prediction about one specific nation on Earth. I mean, will the United States even exist as an entity in 2600 years? Just 300 years ago, it didn’t. Will Earth be the main dwelling place for people? For that matter, will humans be the highest life form, or will we have discovered other life forms on different planets? Will the earth just be one colony in an intergalactic federation of planets? The questions are too numerous to list, and impossible to answer. Just look at the changes in the last 250 years. In 1762, the U.S didn’t exist, horses were the fastest form of transportation. Men had never seen a car or flown in plane, much less explored space. For that matter, homes didn’t have electricity, telephones, radios, or televisions… and certainly no internet. Now, if that much has changed in 250 years, imagine what might happen in ten times that long. Yet, Isaiah looks down through history to 1948 A.D. and gives a prophecy that couldn’t have even made sense to him in 700 B.C. Isaiah was a prophet in the kingdom of Judah, which was the southern kingdom that had once been part of the unified nation of Israel. The northern tribes, who had maintained the name, Israel, had been captured and deported into slavery during Isaiah’s lifetime by the Assyrians. That same mighty nation had come and laid siege to Jerusalem, which was the capital of Judah. Even though Judah had survived that siege, Isaiah prophesied that the nation of Babylon was going to come soon and capture and destroy Judah. In fact, that happened about 100 years later. So, Isaiah was prophesying about the rebirth of a nation that was going to be destroyed in about a century. Here is where it gets even more amazing: from the time Babylon overthrew Judah until 1948 there was no nation of Israel – that’s over 2500 years! However, Isaiah didn’t just prophesy that Israel would be reborn, he said it would happen in one day! Historically, nations aren’t formed in one day. Nations are birthed in the blood of revolutions and the evolution of governments. Birthing nations takes years, not days. Yet, on May 14, 1948, the British Mandate expired and Israel declared itself a sovereign nation. The next day, four surrounding nations, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria, invaded Israel from all four sides. Miraculously, the army of this one day old nation defeated all four of the armies of these larger nations, simultaneously. During the 2500+ years between Isaiah’s prophecy and its fulfillment, it would be practically impossible to count the number of Jews who were murdered. Just the numbers from the Holocaust, the Spanish Inquisition, the Russian slaughter of the Jews, and the Crusades would be in the tens of millions. Yet, here stands Israel. Has there ever been a nation so universally hated and persecuted? In 1800, Jews around the world spoke over 70 different languages, but none of them spoke Hebrew. In fact, Hebrew had been dead for nearly 2000 years. Yet, by the end of the 1800s, Eliezer Ben Yehuda had written the Hebrew dictionary and the language was revived; and in 1948, just three years removed from the kilns of Auschwitz, the nation of Israel rose from the ashes of the Holocaust. If you have trouble believing in God, the continual persecution of the Jews over the centuries would have to make you strongly consider believing in the devil. However, only God could restore this nation… against unimaginable odds; and even more to the point, only God could reveal a miraculous one-day rebirth of His nation to a prophet 2600 years in advance.

From Where I Sit – Observation 8

This is a series of musings from my big leather (really broken-in – to the point of broken-down) chair.



  • A few days ago, I was sitting in Starbucks in Burlington, Vermont. Burlington is a beautiful little town situated right on Lake Champlain, and this particular coffee shop was located in the Church Street Market, which is a three or four block pedestrian mall full of shops and eateries. As I sat contemplating these idyllic surroundings and sipping my latte, the relative silence was broken by the sound of a bass drum and some disagreeing trumpets. To quote a much better writer than me, “out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter.” (or something about like that) I was met by the most bizarre parade I have ever witnessed. Leading the charge was about 3 trumpets, a baritone, and a big marching band bass drum and cymbals (no snare, mind you). Just behind the wandering trumpets walked one guy holding an acoustic guitar and strumming – like anyone in the world would hear that over the trumpets’ rendition of “Charge of the Bull Elephants.” However, Alexander’s Gag-Time Band only seemed bizarre until I saw the next wave. Following the aural attack was an infantry of dozens… make that probably several hundred, sign-toting protesters. Now, here’s where “shock and awe” officially, and fully, gave way to “laugh ‘til you cry.” This posse was carrying a collection of signs that protested everything from war in Iraq to man landing on the moon. There were signs complaining about our president, while walking right beside that sign was someone protesting the Republicans and asking us to support the president. There were signs in support of the troops and signs asking to get us out of Afghanistan. I saw one sign for women’s rights. There were signs supporting revving up industry carried mere inches from signs supporting love and equal rights for every tree and flower. There were signs supporting Israel and others supporting a Palestinian state. The great miracle was that there wasn’t a brawl right in the middle of this split personality quasi-invasion. After the first wave of sign-hoisters came my favorite group of all: there were about 15 guys just following along eating ice cream… no signs, no agenda, just “liberty and ice cream for all.” I really think maybe these guys were just eating their ice cream, working off a hang-over and saw a group of people walk by and thought, “I wonder where they are going. Let’s follow them and see.” At any rate, after the dairy consumers came the second and third wave of these bearers of sign neuroses. I’m sure they were trying to make a statement; however, it was a bit vague. About all I could discern is that most of them were saying, “we’re mad about something… we’re just not sure what and can’t really seem to agree on anything.” The other few seemed unified in their statement that Vermont makes really good ice cream.

    In some Vermont lakes there lives a bird called the Loon. If you aren’t familiar with this cool little guy, he has the wackiest cry you’ll ever hear. While I am not a believer in evolution, this parade presented some compelling evidence that these folks just might have evolved from loons… making them the original loonies.

From Where I Sit – Observation 7

This is a series of musings from my big leather (really broken-in – to the point of broken-down) chair.



  •  A few years ago, I visited a church. As I walked through the lobby, I was greeted by a sign at the door of the sanctuary which said, “quiet people worshiping.” Just like that… no punctuation in the sign. I was left with two options in interpreting the sign: the first possibility was that no punctuation was needed, because the sign was informing me that what I would encounter when I entered the sanctuary was quiet people; and since it wouldn’t be obvious, the sign also told me that what they would be doing was worshiping. I sort of have a vague idea that worship should be somewhat evident, but perhaps this would not be the case, inside, and the questions as to what was going on  might have become so prevalent that a sign was needed to clarify the activities within.

The second possibility was that a punctuation mark had gone rogue and escaped from the sign. In that case, the sign should have read, “Quiet, people worshiping” (if it was a comma); or perhaps, “Quiet! People worshiping.” The possibility of an exclamation point being used to, in essence, shout the word “quiet” at me, was too ironic to ignore and reminds me a little of a story that my uncle used to tell of my parents spending the night with my aunt and uncle when I was a baby. During the night I began to cry, which had not really disturbed anyone outside of my parents’ room. However, when my dad shouted at the top of his voice for me to be quiet before I woke the entire house up… well, you can imagine the results of that. At any rate, I digress. I finally decided that the rogue comma theory was the most likely explanation and so I was left to understand that I must be very, very quiet in my worship, so as not to disturb anyone else who was worshiping. Now, the Bible is full of pictures of the worship that goes on in Heaven. In fact, the book of Revelation, alone, has dozens of verses describing the scene around God’s throne. That worship is described to sound like “the voice of many waters.” Living creatures and angels cry out “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty.” Immediately thereafter, the twenty-four elders declare that Jesus is “worthy to receive glory, honor, and power.” This is all in chapter four, alone. The next chapter tells of the ones around the throne singing “a new song.” Verse 11 of that same chapter tells about “thousands and millions of angels and elders singing, ‘the Lamb is worthy’” Chapter 5 ends with John saying, “and then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea. They sang: ‘Blessing and honor and glory and power belong to the one sitting on the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever.’” Heaven sounds like a noisy place. It is hard to imagine me clearing my throat as I enter Heaven and everyone stopping and turning to look at me. In fact, I only find one instance of silence in heaven. Chapter eight tells us that when the seventh seal of the scroll was opened, bringing with it a great earthquake on earth, there was silence in Heaven for about half an hour. My intent with this blog is just to have a bit of good-natured fun, and I’m also reasonably sure the intent of the quiet people worshiping sign was not to bring about the opening of the seventh seal of the Great Tribulation. However, I also find myself guilty of sometimes following the traditions of worship with which I am most familiar and comfortable, rather than consulting God’s instructions (I am a man, and it is in our genetic code not to read instructions). I will leave you with the amazing picture of our marriage supper with the Lamb: “Then I heard again what sounded like the shout of a vast crowd or the roar of mighty ocean waves or the crash of loud thunder:  ‘Praise the Lord! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. Let us be glad and rejoice, and let us give honor to him. For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb, and his bride has prepared herself.’” (Rev. 19:6,7 NLT). Sounds like we had better get our earplugs ready!