Help Wanted


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Help-wanted-signWe have all seen the Help Wanted sign in the window.  Many of us have even taken the time to make application for the job inside.  I remember once, just out of high school, I applied for a factory job near my hometown.  I was in the main office filling out the form when a man walked in covered from head to toe in soot and looking like he was about to die.  He was coming in just to get a drink of water.  I saw him and politely placed the application folded in my pocket and walked out.  I could tell that job was not for me.

Ministry is a constant call for Help Wanted.  The church my family attended yesterday will filled with the most helpful volunteers.  They escorted us to first to my daughter’s Sunday School class and then showed us where to meet her after class before escorting us to our class.  It was neat, polished, and professional.  They did well.

Answering God’s call to full-time vocational ministry can be one of the most rewarding experiences in your life.  I “surrendered” (a word I feel is inappropriately used) to full-time service to our Lord when I was a teenager.  I have never regretted that decision or commitment.  That does not mean that it has always been great.  While I have few regrets in ministry, it has not always been easy and at times, it has never called me to question my calling and my commitment.

In life there are jobs (things we do for pay), careers (jobs we enjoy doing for pay) and callings (things we would do for free, but would love to be paid to do).  Ministry is more than a career or a job; it is a calling.  It often calls at 3 am to help a person in crisis.  It calls when you are on vacation with the family and interferes with your much needed time off.  It calls in the heat of day and the cold of winter.  It never leaves you alone and hounds you even in your sleep.  Now if this sounds harsh, remember that you would not have it any other way.

In ministry you are always expected to be perfect.  You are expected to smile and shake hands with people you know are saying false and harmful things behind your back.  You are expected to act sympathetic to people who placed their families in jeopardy due to foolish actions on their part.  You are expected to always know the right thing to say and do in most every situation.  You are expected to care, love, cry, pray, and always be prepared to preach or teach at a moments notice.  By the way, your family is also expected to “perform.”

A few weeks ago I stood in horror as I watch my wife backing up her car and scrapping mine in the process.  I shouted to her and waved my hands to warn her but to no avail.  Finally she stopped, rolled down the window, and asked what the problem was.  “Your scrapping the cars together” I replied.  At first she denied it but as she got out, she saw the damage.  Her next words?  “Stop yelling.  The neighbors will hear you.”  My next words?  “They are on my side!”

God’s call for “Help Wanted” is a call we gladly answer, but be mindful; it is not always an easy call to stay answered!  The Bible tells us that the gifts and callings of God are without repentance (Romans 11:29).  God called you for a reason not for a season!  Stay strong and remember that you are always strongest when you are on your knees.


You Are Terminated!


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Thirty years ago when I was in seminary, the first of terminatormany Terminator movies came out.  When it eventually made its way to the dollar theater, my friends and I made it almost a nightly ritual of going to see the movie.  It was cheap entertainment and far better than memorizing Hebrew vocabulary words.  You know the story.  Arnold plays a cyborg that is sent back in time in order to kill the mother of his future enemy; thus preventing his birth.  Later iterations of the movie have Arnold playing a Terminator, but a good one.  The first movie gave us the line “I’ll be back!” and one of the other movies gave us the line “You are terminated!”

While it may make with imaginary delight when we say in our mind’s eye “I’ll be back!” it really takes the wind out of our sails when we hear the other phrase “You are terminated.”  We envision ourselves saying one line, but dread hearing the other line.  Chances are, if you stay in ministry long enough, you will hear the latter line at least once in your career.

Forced terminations in ministry are very hard; both on the church as well as the minister.  Over recent years, there have been some fine materials written on this subject and a lot of it is helpful.  In this brief essay, I seek to offer some perspective on this matter.

To break it down to its lowest common denominator, forced terminations usually occur because of two things:  Something that you do; or something that you fail to do.  Either way, you are out!  In my 30+ years of ministry, I have known many pastors and staff members who have been fired.  Sometimes it was justified because of a moral failure.  Other times, the termination was less than justified because the church was resistant to change.   Either way, it hurts both the church and the minster.

Here are some general things to consider when looking at this issue:

  1. Some churches have a history of termination.  Anytime that a church has had to go through this process and they have done it before, it becomes easier and more destructive.  Churches often take the easy way out of termination rather than work towards reconciliation and or reformation.  What they fail to realize is that it sets them on a path for further hardship down the road.  Once a church has gained a reputation of firing more than 1 or 2 ministers in a row, a reputation is gained in the spiritual community that can be hard to live down.
  2. The minister can also develop a pattern or a habit of forced termination.  I once met a minister who had been fired from 10 different churches.  His tenure was usually about 2 years.  He told me that he had 20 years of experience in ministry but had been fired from every place he served.  What he actually had was 2 years of experience that he kept reliving ten times.
  3. There are different types of termination.  I once served at a Christian college and my contract was not renewed.  At first, I considered myself to have been terminated.  However, I then spent the next 7 years teaching on an adjunct basis and enjoyed it more than if I had been on the regular faculty.  I figured that even though they did not renew my contract, they did keep me around for 7 more years so it was not a termination.  This arrangement was beneficial to both me and the college.  I was free to pursue ministry opportunities and the college was able to hire a much more qualified professor.  Even though I am no longer officially connected to the college, we still give money to them and have a good relationship.
  4. Terminations often happen because of fault on both sides.  The minister wants to move the church in one direction and the church is reluctant to make the changes.  The minister fails to convey his vision and build a consensus and the church is against change to the point that they would rather die than change.
  5. Termination often result because there has been a struggle for control of the church.  Many a minister has been fired because he went up against the ruling body (deacons, elders, a ruling family, or even just one little old lady) and his head was handed to him on the way out the door.  When this happens, God has often ceased to work and the church is in danger of dying.
  6. Terminations often happen during the first few years of a ministry in a church.  However, they can happen even after a lengthy tenure.  I know a person who was terminated after well over a decade at a church.  He though that because he had endeared himself to the church they would have a much harder time firing him.  His mistake was that while he had counted his time as a term of endearment, people in the church likened it to a time of festering disease that finally needed to be lanced.
  7. A termination can be a time of renewed focus on the will of God in your life.  This is a hard “reset” button, but can have positive effects to the surrendered life.  Going through a termination is one of the most devastating career events that can happen.  Bathing everything in prayer and seeking God’s perfect will is the minimum standard for recovery.  This can be also true for the church.

A forced termination does not need to be then end of ministry.  I was voted out of a church with 68 negative votes recently.  A good friend reminded me that 68 negative votes was what Jesus received in the Sanhedrin.  While I do not find any kind of spiritual significance in these numbers, other than just coincidence, I do take comfort in the fact that Jesus and I have something more in common than before.

Are you a pastor or minister who has been bitten?


As I was thinking of the number of pastors who have experienced difficulty in their calling, I began to think of the various ways that people are bitten at church.

First, there are dog bites. The “dogs” in question here are referenced in Philippians where Paul warns people to beware of dogs. The biblical context are the Judaizers. These were strict legalists who had a semblance of religion, but were far outside of the church and the Christian faith. People, and many pastors, are often the objects of these types of bites. The secular world ridicules men of faith for being, well, men of faith. If you don’t believe in evolution, there must be something wrong with you. If you live a life separated from the world, you are weird. While these dog bites are frequent and annoying, they are seldom fatal.

The second kind of bite is the one that Jesus spoke about in the Sermon on the Mount referring to “wolfs in sheep’s clothing.” These are people who are inside the church, maybe even in leadership positions, but they do not have a relationship with Christ, but dress and act like they do. These wolfs are rather carnivorous, and love to take a bite out of the unsuspecting layman. They have a particular appetite for pastors. Their ethical model is carnal and of the flesh. They do not walk in the Spirit because they do not have the Spirit. Their bites can often prove fatal to the young believer, and the inexperienced pastor.

The third bite is the one that hurts the most. It is the sheep bite. This bite is inflicted by the believer inside the church; often a member to whom you are trying to minister and disciple. Because of the natural way that a sheep eats, it does not tear or rend its victim; rather it gnaws it and grinds it in its flattened teeth. Sheep tend to regurgitate their meal and gnaw on it over and over. While James warned us about those who would devour one another, the sheep bite, while being annoying, can often prove fatal as it never gives up! Once the sheep has learned how to rend and destroy the fellow believer or pastor, it often gets into a habit of such and the result is a fatality. Many a pastor has been gnawed over time and had to leave not only his church, but often the ministry.

There is a fourth bite that the Scripture mentions. Once again we find this mentioned in the book of James wherein he warns believers about Satan himself; the devil, Old Scratch. James said that the devil walks about like a ravenous lion looking for someone to eat. Many a Christian and many a pastor have been devoured by this lion. They are often unaware of how the devil operates. The devil operates by getting Christians to divide from one another. The very word “devil” itself means to divide. The name “Satan” means to accuse. Living up to his name, he accuses and divides believers and by separating out the weak, he goes in for the kill.

Are you a pastor or minister who has been bitten? Tell me your story. If the story is too sensitive to share openly, feel free to private message me on FB.

The Most Frustrating Words Ever!

frustrationThe most frustrating words ever spoken by a wife are “I don’t care.” Usually, these words are spoken after an interrogatory such as “Where do you want to go for dinner tonight?” A simple question to be sure, but one that has multitude of pitfalls for the unsuspecting husband. Welcome to Crazytown!

Gentlemen, when she says “I don’t care.” it does not really mean that she does not care. It means that she does care, but she really does not know that she cares. In other words, it is up to you to become The Great Kreskin so as to provide the information necessary to solicit the appropriate response from the wife. It is so frustrating! It takes great skill and instinct.

When the little lady says “I don’t care.” as to where you are going to eat, you might follow up with more specificity by asking “Well, what would you like to eat?” because knowing what you would like to eat can narrow down the possibilities of where you would like to eat. I know, a First World problem, but still perplexing non-the-less. Usually, the answer given to this is “I don’t know.” which is closer to the truth than the previous responses to date. She really does not know. She does care (even though she says she doesn’t) but she actually does not know. It is at this point you might ask for pizza, Italian, Mexican, fast food….

When the wife answers “Whatever.” or “Whatever you want.” don’t fall for it. These are verbal clues to you that you should keep going down the list of types of foods and various venues to consume these edibles. When faced with a “Whatever.” answer this in no way allows you the freedom to choose what you want. It is a trap that is designed to start something that should be put off for another day (read forever!).

Now for any ladies who might read this, when a man utters these same words “I don’t care.” it means exactly that! He does not care. He really doesn’t! Anything is good for him as long as it does not cost a lot of money or effort. Don’t read more into this statement than there is. It really means that he does not care; one way, or the other.

So to sum up, when a lady says “I don’t care.” it means that you are expected to magically read her mind, know exactly not only what she is thinking now, but also what she is feeling and how she is feeling about what she is thinking on a sub-conscious level.

One final caveat: Don’t get it wrong! The sanctions in life and marriage that can be imposed upon you for getting it wrong are enormous and will make everyone in the house miserable for the foreseeable future.

So there we go. No pressure. Just read minds, discern what she wants but does not know what she wants; add to that feelings that she might have on a sub-conscious level and be accurate 100% of the time because you will never live it down if you are wrong! “Remember when we went here before and the food tasted like cat food? Why did you think I ever wanted to come here again? Oh, look, there are fried pickles!”

Substituting God’s Word for Man’s Opinion: The Misunderstood Theology of Wilshire Baptist Church

Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas, associated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT), has votedwilshire-baptist-church to remove any opposition to the homosexual lifestyle.  By a vote of 61% the church has removed any opposition to ordination of homosexuals for service and to allow the practice of same sex marriage.  While a pioneer in this area, Wilshire is not the first Baptist church to do this; nor will they be the last.

Along these same lines, the BGCT has vowed to remove them  from being a cooperating member, return any funds sent to them by this church, and will refuse to seat their messengers at the annual meetings.  Essentially, they are kicking them out of the convention.

Some have asked whether or not this closes the door of the BGCT from ministering to the homosexual community.  Others say that what Wilshire is doing will open up greater avenues of ministry to this disenfranchised community who need the Gospel of Christ.  Both of these statements need closer scrutiny.  It is true that often in our rhetoric as Baptists that we have been especially harsh in our dealings with the homosexual community. Many of us have made the “Adam and Steve, not Adam and Eve” references in our preaching and teaching.  We have also been quick to remind them of impending judgement for this behavior and lifestyle; although I have never heard of a SBC church going to the same lengths at the Westboro Baptist Church “God hates fags” circus sideshow.

It is long past time that we look upon the homosexual community with the same compassion as any other group who is caught in the trap of sin.  While we are quick to condemn drunkenness and drug abuse, we are also just as quick to help the alcoholic and the addict.  We take stands for marriage, but offer divorce recovery classes and reach out to single moms and fatherless children.  Baptist are a people of great mercy and have always been for many generations.  The very Scripture that we affirm command us no less.

There is a difference between ministering in mercy to those caught in a destructive lifestyle of any sin and degradation and elevating such to leadership positions and endorsement.  The Scriptures caution us as to who is worthy of ordination and leadership.  Minister to all we can, but be selective to those whom we elevate.

With this in mind, let me go through a few talking points on this matter:

  1.  Sin is sin and it separates us from our relationship and fellowship with God and one another.
  2. All sin has consequences.  Overeating and gluttony is a sin.  Murder and abuse are also sins.  The consequences are vastly different.
  3. While all sins are wrong, certain sins have much more dire consequences  than others.  Lying and murder are both sins.  However, I would rather you lie to me than murder me.  The consequences are very different.
  4. The church is called to minister to all, no matter the offense as we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God.
  5. By acknowledging homosexual marriage and allowing those trapped in an unrepentant lifestyle to assume leadership positions, Wilshire has departed from biblical teaching and endorsed behavior that not only is sinful, but destructive to the  home and society.
  6. By their departure from biblical truth, they have deemed that which God says is wrong to be right.  Man’s convenient practice now trumps God’s eternal truth.
  7. Suppose we substitute out a “politically correct” sin such as homosexuality and replace it with one that has more of a social stigma such as “adultery.”  I would think that we can all agree that cheating on your spouse if wrong and its destructive path leaves many victims in its wake.
  8. Would Wilshire now endorse those who practice adultery (openly) as being eligible for leadership positions?  What about a church treasurer (maybe even a qualified CPA) who has a criminal record for theft?  What about an alcoholic who shows up to teach his Sunday School class intoxicated?  What about a man who is an abusive husband and father showing up for worship with his family in tow covered in bruises and bandages?  Would the church still practice love as they define it and allow those who are guilty of unrepentant lifestyles to rise to leadership positions in the church?
  9. Some would argue that there is a difference between sins that are criminal acts perpetrated against the innocent and those who have little choice with whom they fall in love.  Again, it comes down to what the Scripture says; not what man has to say.  If you take the Bible as the word of God, then you must take what it says about homosexuality seriously.
  10. God’s call to salvation has always been “whosoever will.”  God’s call for service and leadership is different.  Specific requirements and disqualifications as reflected in Holy Scripture must be followed.  Failure to do so places any church outside of the clear teaching and authority of the Bible.

The first pastor of Wilshire Baptist Church was a man I once met.  His name was Dr. Hubor Drumwright.  I met him while a student in 1981 at Ouachita Baptist University.  He had just left his academic post at Southwestern Seminary where he served as Dean of Theology to become Executive Director of the Arkansas Baptist Convention.  I recall Dr. Drumwrite as an incredible scholar, a gifted orator, and a humble man with a gentle spirit.  These rare qualities left a great impression on this unlearned and under educated student.  Dr. Drumwright as since gone on to heaven.  Looking down, I just wonder what he might say of his former pastorate.  While that causes me caution, I also wonder that the Lord Himself might say of Wilshire Baptist Church.

What is Best for America is Best for the World

Here is a news flash:

What is best for America is best for the world! Just because we enjoy freedom from oppression does not mean that the world can’t have it too. Just because we enjoy economic prosperity does not mean that the world remains poor. Just because we live in a safe haven does make the world less safe.

42f5e57d847794a33fa71b005111b120You see, liberals don’t understand this. They think if America has something then we are depriving it from the rest of the world. They often say that we make up 4% of the world’s population but consume 50% of the world’s resources. Again, they don’t realize that many types of resources can be continually renewed. Cut a tree down, plant three in its place. Easy. Drill for oil and use the energy to build a factory and make solar panels. Easy!

Liberals think that because America is rich that we got rich off the backs of the poor. They talk about how the country was built off the backs of slaves. Well, we did have slaves: One hundred and fifty years ago! Slavery was wrong and evil. The cotton that was harvested with slave hands has long deteriorated into oblivion. No one alive has owned a slave and no one alive was ever a slave. Your color does not define you; you define you!

Our wealth creates more wealth around the world for everyone to begin to enjoy. Liberals think if we have a larger slice of the pie, that deprives others of a piece. It is the difference between slicing and dividing a pie and baking another pie! Socialist thugs want to divide the pie equally and the smart people want to bake more pies!

Liberals think if we are safe militarily, then that makes the rest of the world a much more dangerous place. Nothing could be further from the truth. When we are safe and secure, the world is much more safer. When we are weak and vulnerable, the rest of the world is even more so. No nation was ever conquered because they were too strong. If the values that we love about this country are worth protecting, then we must do so by making America great again. Our military should be feared throughout the world. Our wealth should be emulated by all freedom loving peoples. Our technological advantages can help bring relief to all the world.

When I lived overseas, I was shocked when I discovered that it took 10 years for you to get a land line phone installed in your house. Now, Asia leads the world in cell phones. How did this happen? One word: America! Millions of jobs, not just here in this country but around the world have been created just because of the iPhone!

I laughed at the snowflakes marching last night in protest of an election. They were bussed in from all locations. They coordinated their plans on their iPhones and on social media. Where did that come? America. The busses were built in America. The gas to run the busses was extracted from American soil, refined in American refineries, pumped at an American gas station. The very fact that they had the freedom to protest at night as the rest of us were getting ready for bed because we had to go to work to day is because of one great experiment: America!

The frightened little shaking-everyone-receives-a-trophy millennial living in mom’s basement who thinks they know it all because they have in Instagram account thinks he needs a safe space and a free speech zone. I got news for you little snowflake: THERE IS NO SAFER PLACE IN THE WORLD THAN AMERICA AND NO BETTER FREE SPEACH ZONE THAN AMERICA! (Maybe with the exception of Chicago, Washington DC and Baltimore – cities run by Democrats).

Shout it from the rooftops! We have the greatest country in the world. Export the type of representative democracy beyond our borders. Let’s show the world that we are to be envied by those who want to be free; emulated by those who want to be wealthy; and feared by the sight of our all volunteer military!

A Few Thoughts of D Day


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D DaySeventy-two years ago young men stormed the beaches of Normandy to free a continent and end a war. Their “safe space” was not a tax payer provided room on a college campus, but a hole dug in the sand. They were not frightened by “trigger words” but instead stood in the face of certain death as the enemy pulled the trigger of their weapons aimed directly at them.
For most all, the very first cruise that they had taken in their young lives was not a Disney or Carnival Cruise but rather on board a troop transport heading into danger. Still others spent their sight seeing days in places in the Pacific so small, that they appear on few maps or in places in Europe now filled with Muslim immigrants. They were heroes whose love of country and devotion to duty gave them the strength and courage to make the ultimate sacrifice. They never burned a draft card or an American flag!
The liberty and freedom that we enjoy today was purchased with the very lives of these brave men. They fought for the American way of life like so many who had come before them. Their courage overcame their fears. Their devotion turned the churning surf to red that morning 72 years ago. Some were killed in the Higgins boats. More died on the shores. Those who lived, stormed cliffs and hedgerows bringing liberation and freedom.
So this day, while some would use the very freedom purchased by these brave souls as a license for perversion and social experiments gone wrong, we honor this Greatest Generation. No, Mr. Obama. These men did not give their lives so you could force women to accept men who think they are women into women’s restrooms and locker rooms. These men served for a much more noble purpose: Duty and love of country.

Finding Gender in the Galapogos


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beagleLibs and Democrats act like they have just returned from the Galapagos Islands on the HMS Beagle and have discovered a previously unknown gender that is neither male nor female. This newly discovered gender is what they call transgendered. Being a new gender, it must therefore be treated as a newly discovered sub-species of human. It is to be accorded special rights and privileges. Our betters (Liberals) who know so much more than the rest of us have told us that we need to turn our society completely upon its head in order to potentially accommodate all transgendered people, even if that means going against common sense, safety, and privacy.

So-called transgendered people make up less than 1% of the current US population. Estimates put it at 3/10th of 1%. That means that approximately 99.7% of our population is not transgendered. Surely this can’t be true. I mean, to hear the liberals tell it, transgendered people have done everything from sign the Declaration of Independence, won a couple of world wars, and participated at our highest levels of government and society. Except, they haven’t.

Transgendered people make up a very small percent of the population and are correctly placed within the category of mental illness and disorders pertaining to body dysmorphic disorders. They are not a new sub species and they are certainly not a new gender. They are, for lack of a better way to put this, mentally ill. This does not mean that we should treat them with hatred, disrespect, or look upon them as any less of that which deserves human dignity. Compassion and love in the highest command of Christ is to be the norm.  While love, compassion and dignity are to be our highest expression, their mental disorder does afford them special rights over and above the 99.7% of the population that does not suffer from this disorder.

Left untreated, many of this group commit suicide. However, when they are treated with surgery, the rate of suicide is roughly the same as those who do not have hormone and surgical treatment. Statistical studies have led some hospitals such as Johns Hopkins to stop performing gender reassignment surgery.

Now while my liberal friend’s heads explode, I would like to ask a few questions:

  1. Do the much higher percentage of the population not deserve respect for their privacy in public restrooms, dressing rooms, and changing areas? If not, why not?
  2. What if the person who “thinks” they are the opposite gender is wrong? Will irreversible surgery not make the problem worse?  Already, we are reading the Bruce Jenner is having second thoughts about his surgery.
  3. Why are liberals so willing to deny science and embrace a political agenda to address a problem that has received so little study?
  4. If Bruce Jenner were not your poster child, would you still push this agenda? If so, then why did you not push this prior to Bruce Jenner? It seems this has more to do with a radical left wing agenda rather than treatment for the mentally ill.
  5. Are there no other treatment options available short of irreversible radical surgery that statistically, does not alleviate the condition and emotional pain?
  6. How will liberals address public safety concerns about this issue? So far, all that we have heard and seen is outcry and name calling from the left and too little concern with public safety and privacy.
  7. As champions of the right to privacy, why are liberals so willing to invade another’s privacy in changing rooms in gymnasiums and public pools? Does the dad of a young adolescent girl not have an expectation of privacy when they send their child into a changing room that they will not have to disrobe in front of a person with opposite gender anatomy?  Many liberals assume that there are private changing rooms in locker rooms in public schools.  I am confident that the vast majority of public schools and private clubs have few private changing rooms.
  8. Why have liberals chosen this hill upon which to die? It seems as if there might just be another agenda behind this? beagleWhen you look at what liberals have already accomplished since Obama began to fundamentally change America, and where they might be headed, it makes you stop and think. Homosexual marriage is already the law of the land. Lack of bathroom privacy seems to be next. Pluralistic marriage and intergenerational marriage may not be that far behind.

We Did It To Ourselves!

We did it to ourselves

We did it to ourselves!

It appears that Trump is going to be our candidate. As of this writing, he does not have a a lock on the nomination, but it should be locked up in a couple of weeks.  Like most Republicans, I am unhappy at this prospect. I have already tired of this blowhard who thinks he is smarter than everyone else in the room.  Money can purchase many things; sadly, class is not one of them.

I would like to tell you the reason that we are stuck with Trump and not another candidate. REPUBLICANS DID IT TO THEMSELVES!!!!!  There!  I said it.  We did it to ourselves.  We have no one to blame on this matter.  Even if we wanted to find some Democrat conspiracy, common sense would step in the way.  Now, this is on us.  Trump is the fault of the Republicans and no one else.

What do I mean by this? It is quite simple. Nature abhors a vacuum. The Republican House and Senate were both elected with the express purpose of stopping Obama and all of his “hope and change.” We counted on them.  But when given the opportunity to do so on countless opportunities, they failed miserably. They wrinkled like a cheap suit.  They folded like a house of cards in a windstorm.  There were numerous opportunities for the Republicans to do what they were elected to do.  Yet, time and again, they failed.

They failed on Obamacare. They took many opportunities to vote against it (over 30 I think), but none when it counted.  These votes were for show; to show the people back home that they meant business, except they didn’t.

They failed on the budget.  A balanced budget was never discussed, proposed, brought up, or mentioned except in the election rhetoric that sent them to Washington.

Republicans failed on countless raising of the debt limit.  At a time when they preached that it was time to get their house in order, they did so by taking out more and more credit cards and never even with a view to paying them off.

They failed on the deficit. The amount of money that is collected does not even come close to the amount of money that is spent.  Each dollar collected is spent at least 3 times!  Try that at home and see how well it goes!

They failed our military. They failed our veterans.  The VA is still mired in endless waste and bureaucracy.  Wait times have not gone anywhere but up!  Access to healthcare is only possible if you are an illegal alien.

They pushed Common Core.  The Department of Education, which should immediately be defunded along with many Republican governors have brought this into the kitchen tables of every family with a child in the public schools.

The Republicans (with few exceptions) failed this country miserably. Instead of solid leadership based upon character and conservative principles, we got compromise, double talk, and homosexual marriage.  Why bother to elect them if they are going to do the same thing that the Democrats are doing!

Because of the lack of leadership by Republicans, the old “nature abhors a vacuum” law led to Trump. It was not the first time. Remember a guy named H Ross Perot? We abandoned our convictions from George HW Bush when he did not follow through with his Read My Lips pledge. Perot jumped in the race and Clinton was elected with 43% of the vote.

So why Trump? Look to the very people who are desperately trying to stop Trump now! With friends like Mitch McConnel, John McCain, and countless others, this failure of leadership was bound to happen.  Yes, we did it to ourselves!

The Worst Car I Ever Owned


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Ford PintoI have owned a lot of cars over the years. I just replaced my very reliable Toyota Prius with a newer car last week. As I was driving to work this morning, I was enjoying the newness of the Lexus ES 350 and still learning how to use the toys scattered throughout the car. I began to reflect upon my numerous cars over the years. By far, the most memorable was also the worst that I ever owned, a 1973 Ford Pinto.

I got the Pinto in very used condition in 1983. I was desperate to buy and the seller was even more desperate to sell.  It had about 30,000 miles on it and the body was in good shape (come to think of it, so was mine!). The car had few redeeming features other than keeping down the mosquito population due to the unrelenting blue smoke being expelled from the rusted tail pipe.  It also had a rear window defroster that kept your hands warm as you were pushing it in the cold weather.

Soon after I got the car, it began to fall apart as the spit and baling wire that was holding the undercarriage together began to uncoil. The side mirror fell off and there was no way short of superglue to reattach it. Early 80s superglue is worthy of its own rant, but maybe later.  The rearview mirror also fell off and it was replaced with an off the shelf mirror from Walmart. The replacement mirror had a digital clock on it and that was the only instrument that worked on the entire car.  The speedometer was in a permanently fixed position of 85 mph, or in Pinto-speak, Fantasyland.

Once I got the car up over 60 MPH and the front hub caps flew off due to the centrifugal force on the unbalanced wheels. At an underwhelming 63 horsepower, getting the car up to that speed for any sustained time was quite a feat. It was a bone jarring, teeth chattering, filling falling out type of ride.  Of course, you had to be going down a steep hill for this to happen.

The brakes on the car gave a new definition to the phrase “not working.”  You had to press them all the way to the floor as the master cylinders did not work and the fluid leaked out with the transmission and oil to form a rather interesting puddle wherever you parked.

The starter went out. They had a choice of either pulling the motor or the transmission to replace the starter. They pulled the transmission, but in the process, it put too much pressure on the motor and the motor mounts broke.

The horn went out and it would not pass inspection. I went to a junk yard and pulled a horn of a rusting Pinto and put it on my rusting Pinto. The button for the horn would not work so I replaced it with the plastic lid of a tennis ball canister and a doorbell that I got from Walmart. When I pressed the button, I half expected it to go “Ding Dong! Avon Calling!” Instead, it merely moaned like a heroine addict wallowing in his own vomit.

The tires were only tires in the academic sense of the word. They were round, had been made out of rubber, and occasionally held air.  It is amazing how much thread can show through a tire before it finally collapses.

The fuel line sprung a leak once and I replaced it with a plastic tube held in place with a “c” clamp and duct tape.

The handles that let you roll down the windows (necessary because the AC and long ago given up the ghost) were broken and I replaced them with a cheap pair of vice grips. You had to move them from one door to another, depending on which window you wanted down or up.

The windshield wipers were about as reliable as your basic street corner meth addict. The wipers made the cycle from up and back down about once a minute; with a shimmy reminiscent of a puppy that I once saw that had cerebral palsy.  Both were sad images.  The wipers would move up and down, shaking all the way.

The door locks did not work. The caps that screwed onto the mechanism had long since gone missing.  If you were on the inside of the car, you could not get them down.  If you were outside the car, you had better hoped that no one accidentally pressed the bolt down because the key did not work the lock. I never locked the car, but then, anyone desperate to steal a Pinto deserves what he gets.

The handle to open the door broke on the inside of the door so to open the driver’s side door, you had to use the vice grips to roll down the window and reach out and use the outside door handle to get the door open.

At about 45,000 miles, the motor began spewing west Texas crude like a John Wayne movie (The Hellfighters) and the transmission leaked almost as fast as you pour it in.  I only put a gallon of gas at a time in the car. I did this for several reasons: If you put in more than 2 gallons, the fuel would leak and the extra weight of the gas was not good for the suspension.  I could not afford much more than a gallon at a time and in case the Pinto had one of its exploding episodes (as the were wont to do) I wanted a fighting chance since it took time to use the vice grips to roll down the window and reach around for the door handle outside the car.  However, for each gallon of gas in the tank, the car went up exponentially in value.

The radio – never worked. Never figured out why.  The car made so much noise that you would never have been able to hear it anyway. The motor was so underpowered that to turn on the radio would have slowed the car from a brisk walk to a crawl.

The signal lights would work providing you moved the signal stalk up and down as you were turning the non-powered steering wheel. Mostly it was easier to get a ticket!
I don’t recall ever getting a ticket in the car, although I was stopped numerous times, although never for speeding. I think the cops just felt sorry for me and let me go, knowing that I was destined to perish in flames since it was a Pinto.

I finally sold the car a year or so after I got it. I made a deal with a car lot on Garland Road in Garland, Texas sight unseen for $500. The car died for the last time about 20 feet from the dealer’s lot. I pushed it onto the lot to claim my $500 prize. At first the car lot dealer did not want to fulfill the deal but after hearing about the number of times that the car had left me stranded, he relented and I was able to drive off the lot with my second worst car that I ever owned, a 1979 Ford Fairmont.