Monday, February 28, 2011

On Turning Forty

The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. (Psalm 90:10)
This verse struck me recently, as I just reached the age of forty. As in, half of fourscore. As in, it is entirely possible that I have reached—nay, surpassed—the halfway point of my earthly days. God could see fit to take my life tomorrow, or He might choose to leave me here until I'm 110. I don't know. But how prepared am I to live the rest of my life?

Spiritually: I was saved over 35 years ago, and to whom much is given, much is required. Although I owe God far more than I can ever repay Him, I do have an obligation to do my best to serve and glorify Him for as long as I can. That's a tall order.

Physically: The doctor says I should diet; he's probably right. I am not as strong or as healthy as I was at age twenty. But if I want to continue avoiding any major health hurdles, self-discipline is required. That's a tall order, too. I like to eat, and I don't care much for exercise.

Family: I have four children who need a loving father who sets a good example of the Christian walk. I have a wife who needs a loving, caring husband. I have bills to pay and needs to meet. Who knows what our family will face in the days ahead? This could be a tall order, too.

I also want to be a positive influence on my grandkids...but that's still quite a few years off. I'll need to prepare for the son-in-law-wannabe interviews, also.

Work: "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might..." (Eccl. 9:10). That's not always easy.

In the world, but not of it: What kind of testimony am I to those around me—especially those who do not know Christ as Savior?

In short, life doesn't get easier at forty! It is a good time to reflect on what God's plan for me will be in the years ahead. I pray that the next forty years will contain more zealous efforts and greater glorifying of Him than the first forty have been.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

What To Do In Wisconsin

The short version of the story: Newly-elected GOP legislative majority and GOP governor begin to follow through on campaign promises to cut state spending. Teachers in the public schools are included, and will be expected to receive less generous compensation packages. Unions are outraged; democrats wail and howl.

Then, the 14 remaining democrat members of the Wisconsin Senate flee. Away. To Illinois. Since a quorum of 20 is required, and since there are only 19 Republicans, Senate business has come to a halt.

The fugitive legislators deserve strong criticism for their cowardice and irresponsibility. But they deserve more than that. In the "real world," those of us who don't show up for work—nay, refuse to come to work!—get the axe.

The Wisconsin constitution (I found it here; see p. 63) provides a way for elected officials to be recalled from office. I would encourage everybody who lives in a district represented by one of these fugitive legislators to begin the process by signing petitions to get these folks removed from office. They have abdicated their responsibilities, and therefore, they should be removed from their posts.

Whether or not these 14 like the legislation being debated, and regardless of the number or opinions of those protesters, they were entrusted with a responsibility. If they don't care to fulfill that responsibility, they should no longer hold office.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

I've only been to California once—a trip to the L.A. area in 2008. One of the things I definitely wanted to do during the three-day trip was to visit the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. It is located atop a mountain (Simi "Valley" seems a bit ironic) and was worth the drive up to the top.

Most attentive people realize today is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ronald Reagan. He was unquestionably the greatest president of my lifetime, and I sure do wish someone of his caliber and convictions occupied the White House right now. It saddens me to think that nobody below the age of 25 remembers him as president. The Reagan Library helps to preserve his legacy.

My wife and I had a great visit, and would strongly recommend it to anyone traveling through that region of the country. In addition to many excellent momentoes and reminisces of his presidency, the actual Air Force One of his era (it was replaced by a 747 about a decade ago) was moved to the Museum and placed in a special pavilion for everyone to see.

It is also interesting to note that Reagan loved California. The "land of," that is. I think he would be angered and/or horrified if he could witness the political and social scene now, along with the contempt displayed toward our immigration laws.

More importantly (to me), Reagan loved the United States of America, and was dedicated to keeping it the greatest, freest, strongest country in the world. For that, we should thank God that we could have such a leader at such a time as we did.