Rabid Fun

John Cowart's Daily Journal: A befuddled ordinary Christian looks for spiritual realities in day to day living.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Buffalo Bill In Jacksonville

I suspect that sometimes I do something for a reason other than the reason I think I’m doing it.

Does that make sense?

I mean that I’ll think I’m doing this for a specific reason, then after all is said and done it turns out that I did it for an entirely different reason.

Not that I’m a pawn.

But while I have my reason, God has His.

Case in point:

Friday I went with Ginny to a local hospital. My reason for going was to comfort her in case the doctor gave her bad news. (Dr. Scar said she’s perfectly ok and that if the growth on her neck begins to bother her sometime in the next 40 years, she should come back to have it removed).

Anyhow, this hospital offers a monster huge parking garage with spaces for all but 50 or 60 of the cars trying to park in there.

We circled and circled up and down dark ramps for 15 minutes before we snagged a parking space—nerve wracking!

After the ordeal of parking we needed a smoke.

Jacksonville hospitals, in a move to improve health care, have banned smoking while they have not banned septic Mersa a germ found in local hospitals which eats the raw flesh of patients—But that’s a rant.

Nevertheless, we found an ashtray beside a bench deep in the recesses of the gloomy underground parking tunnel.

We sat.

Ginny smoked her cigarette; I smoked my pipe.

A man approached and sat on a bench opposite to light up his cigarette.

“I hardly ever see anybody smoking a pipe anymore,” he said to me. “Used to be an old man down the street smoked a corncob pipe. Lived to be 90, but he’s dead now. You are the fist pipe smoker I’ve seen since then”.

We talked about corncob pipes for a short while, then the man began to tell me about how he and his 9-year-old son made turkey callers out of corncobs and bits of blackboard slate. He talked about teaching his son to hunt deer, wild turkey and ducks. They live out in the country and build a hunting blind out of old railroad ties.

Ginny realized that we had not locked our car, which was miles away in the depths of the garage. She left me and the stranger talking about pipes and turkey calling.

Before long, the father began to pour out his heart to me about his boy’s life-threatening illness. How he’d taken his son to a charity hospital and been turned away. How he’d taken the boy, the light of his life, to another physician who made arrangements for the kid to be admitted to this world-renowned childrens clinic.

I asked the boy’s name so I could pray for him.

“His name is Cody; I named him after Buffalo Bill. He was a great hunter”.

A cartoon from a 1907 Jacksonville Newspaper

Now, years ago I’d researched a local magazine article (it never got published) about Buffalo Bill, Colonel William Cody. During the early 1900s Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show often wintered here in Jacksonville.

The father in the hospital parking garage had never heard about this.

Yes, the 200 Indians in the show, sharpshooter Annie Oakley, the horses—the whole troop stopped touring and spent the cold months here in sunny Jacksonville. They created quite a stir because Buffalo Bill Cody lived for showmanship. He always had a gimmick to generate free publicity for his show and managed to stay in the spotlight.

For instance, once when business slacked off, Buffalo Bill and his wife filed for divorce. That made newspaper headlines. Mrs. Cody accused the Colonel of adultery—with Queen Victoria!

After that news story played out, Mrs. Cody dropped the divorce suit.

Anyhow, the distressed father in the parking garage seemed touched to realize that he’d met somebody who even knew who William Cody, his boy’s namesake, was. And he seemed startled when the old man smoking a pipe in a dark corner of the basement offered to pray for his son.

My reason for going to the hospital was to hold Ginny’s hand in case she needed me; but she didn’t.

I wonder if God’s reason for my going may have involved Buffalo Bill?

Beside the still waters is not the only place God leads us.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 6:00 AM

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Friday, August 29, 2008

In A Pinch

Thursday was spent waiting for electricians to show up, watching them repair an underground wire, then recuperating afterwards.

That was my whole day.

I didn’t intend to post a journal entry this morning because yesterday was nothing to write home about…. But…

Something our instructor said the other night about extracting victims of a disaster has been dwelling in my mind. Talking about how to extricate a person trapped in the ruble of a collapsed building, he said that sometimes the best thing to do is leave them trapped so long as them are not in immediate danger of death.

Of course if the building is burning that’s another story.

But usually after the initial collapse, a pile of rubble is relatively stable—unless you start moving things. A person trapped in a void has a good chance of surviving for a long time so the best thing for an amateur rescuer to do is pass them water and leave them be until professionals with heavy equipment such as air bags arrive on the scene.

He told about a rescue he’d been in on when a tree trimmer got pinched by a partially cut limb high in the air. Rescue arrived and went up to the guy in a bucket truck. They started an IV, strapped him in a harness, and all that before removing the heavy oak limb which was pinching his innards.

The man was in pain and talking to the firemen and even telling jokes… but when the limb was lifted off of him, the pressure which it exerted was removed, and the internal organs which had been pinched together by the limb ruptured.

He was dead before he reached the ground.

And these were professional rescuers, trained paramedics with all the latest equipment working to save him.

Sometimes pressure holds us together.

Being in a pinch is what keeps us alive.

I transplanted this idea to my own spiritual life.

When I’m in a pinch. When I feel trapped, I try to wiggle out. I feel the pressure and try to escape. I’ll do anything to get out from under. I’ll want to kick rubble aside, shove branches off me, regain my freedom.

It’s not that my building is on fire. It’s just that I’m uncomfortable with the situation and want to change things immediately.

What says the Scripture?

“Be still and know that I am God… They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength… The Lord is my Shepherd… Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden…My peace I give unto you…”

Nothing about a frantic scramble.

Wait upon the Lord—For me, that’s harder to do than levering and cribbing a two ton slap of concrete rebar.

The more I learn in the rescue classes, the more inadequate I feel about rescuing anybody.

The longer I live as a Christian, the more I see the truth of the Scripture, “By .grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God not of works, lest any man should boast”.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 5:32 AM

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Infernal Machines – A Rant

Machines hate me.

When it comes to mechanics and I need to do something complicated like putting staples in the stapler on my desk, I hand the machine over to Ginny.

But yesterday, I attempted to vacuum our pool. Nothing to it. All you have to do is attach the hoses and move the vacuum head over the bottom.

I tripped a circuit breaker.

It stayed tripped.

We’ll have to call an electrician.

Perhaps water damage from Fay got into some wiring in the back yard and shorted out everything.

Machines hate me…

The feeling is mutual.

I forgot to mention it yesterday but Tuesday was a local election; Ginny and I voted first thing before she left for work.

Good thing maybe.

The kid in the attic will be happy to know about our quaint election customs. At one library, just down the street from where our kids went to school, there was a shoot out. Reports vary but anywhere from five to 15 men got in a gun battle at the library/polling station and they fired between 20 and 35 bullets.

Lousy shots.

Only one guy was hit.

Local news media hardly mention the incident.

But, here’s my point about machines. Politicians have taken to rigging automated telephone machines to call me with a recorded message.

What an abomination.

I don’t like to be called by a live person working for a political campaign but I’ll tolerate that. However, it outrages me when a machine calls me. I don’t talk to machines—especially if there are ladies present.

When a recorded political message comes in, I note the candidate and hang up.

Then I vote for his opponent.

Regardless of political affiliation I vote for the candidate who does not have a machine call me.

Use of a calling machine proves the person using it is an insensitive clod.

Humans, decent humans, talk to each other.

I’m happy to say that the candidate who had his machine call me lost the election.

The best human won.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 6:33 AM

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Sunday I played Santa on the rooftop clearing off limbs and storm debris from the roof of our house. The lovely trees that overhand our property dropped Eight Million, by actual count, small branches in our yard.

The pile of storm debris I mounded by the curb so far is larger than a bus and I’ve hardly started with the back yard!

Yet our damage is minor compared to most people’s.

Monday my friend Wes treated me to breakfast and we talked about how to live Christian in the midst of some work-related problems.

Tuesday, I repaired a pool pump which shorted out during the storm. Got a significant electrical shock from the old pump housing, so I had to replace it. Our pool was well on the way to greening up and becoming a seven thousand gallon vat of mosquito larvae.

I added chlorine.

Die bugs. Die!

CERT training class Tuesday night focused on light search and rescue operations. I wish I’d had this training back in the ‘60s before the riots surrounding Martin Luther King’s assassination. Back then I played the part of an enthusiastic untrained spontaneous rescuer who may have done more harm than good.

I think CERT training should be a required course in every high school. This is something the present generation is going to need. What can they learn in school more important than survival?

Anyhow, last night the CERT instructor exposed us to thoughts about the structural integrity of damaged buildings, left-hand/right-hand wall searches, and mission focus.

I see that one of my mistakes in the aftermath of Fay as I visited each home in our horseshoe was that I over estimated my strength and I lost focus by talking too long with a couple of individuals who were upset and needed to talk, but who were physically uninjured. Therefore I did not get to as many homes as I might otherwise have.

As president of our neighborhood watch, I felt it my duty to check on the people living in our horseshoe. Our group motto is: Mind Your Own Business, But Look Out For Your Neighbor!

One advantage I had was that a day before the storm hit, after Ginny and I had secured our own home, I phoned everyone on my list of friends, family and Neighborhood Watch members; therefore, I knew in advance who planed to evacuate to a shelter, which households in the neighborhood doubled up with others, and who planed to leave town altogether.

In my phoning, I followed CERT triage protocol by not getting bogged down in phone tag; I called once, checked on people, then made the next call.

Amazingly, I encountered four people who did not know a storm was coming!

Doesn’t anybody watch the news?

In checking on my neighbors after the storm passed, I followed that same protocol of knocking on the door of houses I knew to be occupied (skipped one I knew vacant because of my phone calls). I knocked twice—with a metal key on the glass or wood so the sound carried better than bare knuckles. When someone answered I checked on them briefly and then I moved on to the next house.

Mostly I just listened to fears and problems, so some visits took a bit longer than others, but I tried to stay focused.

Last night as the instructor talked about the distraction of attaching yourself to given situation and thus being deflected from your mission focus, I extrapolated that information into my own Christian life and into my writing. If this journal shows nothing else, it reveals how easily I’m derailed and blunder off what I’m supposed to be doing.

My ease at being distracted by circumstances causes my days to resemble a life lived as a human ping-pong ball.

What harm were those leaves doing on my roof? Could they have stayed there another week? Is reading a novel more important than prayer?

I question these things, but I know full well that in God’s kingdom sometimes the sidetrack is the main road. I could have told my friend that I didn’t have time to talk because I have a desk full of work to do; but listening to him may well be the most important thing I do all week.

Loving overrides doing.

People are more important than tasks.

The only thing that will last forever is people.

One thing the CERT class confirmed that I did right in my house to house visits after the storm: At each home I asked about physical injures and medical problems. I asked about water and food. And I asked about electric power.

Later on, a JEA (Jacksonville Electric Authority) truck drove through the neighborhood and the workers asked me about power outages; I was able to tell them which individual houses had electricity, where a tree leaned against a power line, and which houses had generators running.

This last is important because electrical feedback from home generators can travel backwards in the wires and shock a JEA worker who thinks he’s working on a line that has been cut off.

The JEA guys seemed surprised that I had the information they needed at my fingertips.

Our class instructor said “All guns are loaded, and all electric lines are hot”.

I’d add to that—The metal casing of a swimming pool pump shocks like a rabid bluetoothed bitch!

That’s not Neighborhood Watch or CERT training, that’s personal experience.

By the way, three new hurricanes more powerful than Fay are forming in the Atlantic.

Oh the joys of life in Florida.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 6:17 AM

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Days With Fay

We survived.

Officially Tropical Storm Fay never reached hurricane strength although you’d never have guessed that here on the ground. In Florida eleven people died in the storm and property damage climbed into the millions of dollars. About half the population of Florida lost electric power and about eleven million people evacuated or huddled in public shelters.

While most offices and businesses closed, many bars stayed open.

I’m not sure, but this may account for some storm-related tragedies.

Three tourists here in Jacksonville decided it would be a cool idea to say they’d been swimming in the ocean during a hurricane. They all had to be rescued but one young lady drowned.

Down state, a young man decided it would be cool idea to fly a big kite in the storm winds along the beach. His kite first dragged him along the sand, then lifted him about 20 feet in the air, and finally slammed him into the side of a building. He only suffered broken bones but he know how a bug feels when it hits a car windshield. (I think videos of that kite suffer can be found on Google Video).

Ginny and I came out fine although one of our neighbors didn’t. Tons of wood fell on the home of one of our neighborhood watch members around the corner:

Even with all the damage from Fay, Ginny and I were not called upon to exercise our CERT (Civilian Emergency Response Team) training; throughout the storm professional responders kept access to all areas of the city. Fay was not a big enough disaster for CERT to kick in.

However we did use things we learned in our CERT classes. For instance, when asked to travel 15 miles at the height of the storm to do a helpful but unnecessary chore for someone, I said a flat out “NO”. I felt guilty about it, but I saw no reason to risk becoming a victim myself because of someone else’s lack of planning. This involved only property damage not loss of life.

I canceled my appointment with Dr. Woody Friday morning and later that afternoon the radio announced that a 12-foot long alligator was found swimming around in a flooded parking lot by the medical building.

Rising waters also drive snakes to higher ground—which often means into someone’s house.

Less dramatic but more common, ants, which normally live in underground nests, form rafts which float on water when the ground becomes supersaturated. People who wade in flood waters find themselves covered with stinging ants.

Mostly Ginny and I just hunkered down in our home listening to thumps as falling limbs crashed onto our roof. She caught up with tons of work in her home office; I studied the structure of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula.

Great reading for stormy days.

I’ve mentioned before how Dracula influenced me to begin keeping a daily journal over 30 years ago. But this re-reading of the novel related to another book I’m writing.

Once TS Fay crossed the Florida the first time, it stalled in the Atlantic about 20 miles south of here and sat there storming for days. During the early days, every time we heard a tornado warning, we’d go to the safest area of our house; but when alert followed alert day and night day after day, we almost ignored them and went about our business.

After six or seven days without even opening our front door, Ginny and I went stir crazy and we ventured out yesterday although there were still a few tornado alerts now and then. We met the kids still in town up at Dave’s Diner for breakfast. They are all fine.

Here’s a strange experience:

As a leader in our neighborhood watch, I felt it my duty to check on the people living in the 59 houses in our horseshoe. So, using the CERT triage principal of “start where you stand”, I began with our next door neighbor and moved from house to house around the horseshoe.

Now, I did not do anything for anybody.

I did not give our a single drink of water or rescue a single soul from a burning building. I just visited from house to house as best I was able and asked folks how they were doing.

The gratitude I encountered amazed me.

Brother Lawrence, author of The Practice Of The Presence Of God, said that it is not the greatness of a task that counts but the love with which it is performed. That we are to do little things for the love of God.

I almost agree.

But, I can’t claim to have acted toward my neighbors with any degree of love. Going stir crazy from being cooped up in the house motivated me more than anything else. Yet I learned long ago to pay little attention to my own motives; when you give a starving kid a sandwich, he doesn’t care diddle-squat about your motives—he just eats the sandwich. I’d go nuts looking for some pure motive in my own heart.

It just ain’t there.

But so many of my neighbors seemed pathetically grateful that someone had come by to check on them personally.

Of course I was not able to get to all 50+ houses (my legs gave out and I started trembling too bad to go on) but fortunately about 40 houses in, I ran across four young people who took over for me. These kids loved the excitement of helping neighbors. I’m pleased and proud of them.

One funny thing:

Fay forced the cancellation of all sorts of activities in Jacksonville. The Monster Truck Rally had to be postponed. One wedding got postponed. Concerts, sales, drives, picnics—all canceled or postponed.

But one elderly lady in a house I visited told me that Friday she was scheduled to go in for a colonoscopy. She arrived at the clinic to find she was the only patient who made it there through the storm. They saw her immediately.

“Of all the things this damn storm canceled,” she said, “Why couldn’t that have been one of them”!

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 1:02 PM

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bye For A While

Fay's on the way.
Shutting down my computer.
Power may go off any time now.
Last storm, it was off for nine days.
I just hung our hurricane warning flags at our front door.
Be back, God willing, whenever.
Love, John

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 8:26 AM

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Fun With Fay

Hurricane Fay strengthened today as it crossed west to east from the Gulf over land in south Florida; such a storm strengthening over land is almost unheard of.

It now approaches. the Atlantic’s warm waters and threatens to curve back across the state, this time from east to west, here in North Florida with Jacksonville being the projected landfall.

Declaring a local state of emergency, Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton described Hurricane Fay as “Unpredictable, erratic, defying all odds”.

This morning, radio host Valerie Segraves, WEJZ 96.1, described Fay as, “ A lopsided, raggedy bully. She’s headed this way and she’s going to eat our lunch”.

Not mine!

Ginny’s taking the next three days off. And we have prepared as well as we are able to give ourselves the best chance. And we’ll do what we can to help others after the storm.

Our help promises to mean damn little because a minor health problem, beyond my normal dizziness, has kicked in for me and I doubt if much stumbling around in hurricane debris as a rescuer lies in my future; the professionals will have plenty of victims to worry about without my adding to the problem.

For days now the National Weather Service has issued announcements about Fay; some announcements are designated bulletins; others, warnings; others, advisories; and others, watches. Each designation means something different and tv commentators go nuts trying to explain the differences.

Radio and tv announcers have been updating weather reports every half hour.

This piling on of information leads to storm fatigue and system overload.

This afternoon, one radio announcer interrupted the song playing. He said, “I’ve just been handed two important announcements… Oh, this one is just from station management canceling Bring Your Daughter To Work Day…. This other one is from the weather service and it looks like a warning watch … or maybe it’s a watch warning”.

Ginny and I laughed till we cried.

I remember during a blizzard up in Washington, D.C., during the late 1960s, I was out driving in the ice storm on some mission of mercy (Christians do a lot of that sort of thing… Storm fodder, that’s what do-gooders are).

Anyhow it was about 3 a.m. in this monster ice storm with the wind howling and driving snow sheets straight out flat. The announcer on my car radio had been reading hazard warnings and weather updates for hours—I think he was snowbound at the station.

During a pause in the music he said, “Tonight’s weather report is for clear and still conditions…. It’s clear up to your ass and still snowing”!

Anyhow, during our regular devotional reading tonight Ginny and I came upon a Bible verse from Isaiah 30:

“For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength – And ye would not”.

I can’t decide if those words are comforting or not.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 8:21 PM

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Preparing For Fay

Last week during a typical afternoon thunderstorm, the kind we have every day all summer long, a gust of wind twisted steel girders and toppled two cranes at the port about seven miles from our home. Each crane weighed 11,000 tons and cost about six million dollars. They are a total loss. Here’s a photo that ran on Channel 12 TV:

What can man build that can withstand God’s wind?

Even though Hurricane Fay which approaches today ranks as only a minimal hurricane, Governor Crist has declared Florida in a state of emergency and ordered the evacuation of the keys.

Sunday’s projection by the National Weather Service predicts that our home lies right on the centerline in the Cone Of Uncertainty:

Ginny and I reviewed our normal hurricane preparations:

Year round we keep a cupboard of water, canned goods and tools we may need; we also have a Grab & Go box containing insurance policies, social security papers, medical records, etc. That’s always packed and by the door.

But as always last minute storm things keep us busy:

We checked the status of all our prescriptions and renewed the one that are low. We bought some extra comfort foods and two 9-volt batteries missing from our kit. We washed all the laundry because when the electricity goes out, who knows when we’ll be able to again? We made a bunch of phone calls to check if family or friends needed help. Then we sat back and watched a great tv movie called Fish Don’t Blink; a happy little movie we enjoyed tremendously although we had never even heard of it before.

As we talked and planned and worked (I still have to lug in Ginny’s dirt-eating potted plants from the deck) Ginny made a memorable statement of Christian faith:

“If Fay passes, we’re ok,” she said. “If we loose the house and car, we’re ok. And even if we die in the storm, we’re still ok. Nothing to worry about”.

I’ve mentioned before that at times I develop a tremor in my hands and legs; well, yesterday at breakfast was one of those times. And I played a joke on Ginny.

Remember in the Jurassic Park movies, how the guy’s coffee cup rippled and sloshed at the approach of the Tyrannosaurus?

Well, at breakfast as we discussed the approach of the storm, I pointed out the ripples in my coffee and said that the storm would have to wait because the T-Rex was coming first.

Ginny got the giggles.

As the waitress in Country Kitchen came to the table, I tried to control the coffee cup by holding it with both hands and I said, “Country Kitchen, Home of the Two-Handed Cup of Coffee”.

Ginny got to laughing so hard.

God, I love her so much. After all these years I still fell free to act silly around her; and she’s still coquettish enough to giggle and laugh at my foolishness.

Fay may twist steel girders, but love endures whatever storms life sends.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 6:16 AM

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Adam Jones, Cyber Hero

His hat says it—THE BEST.

His work confirms it.

Last night our friend Adam came over and restored my computer’s hard drive. The thousands of pages of text and photographs I’d lost back in June are now back on my monitor screen.

Adam’s work makes an enormous difference. For instance, one file I’d tried to restore myself cam eout at 162 pages with one page of footnotes; The same file which Adam restored returned to the screen at 256 pages with three pages of footnotes.

That’s for the same file.

Adam said that one of my file folders ran so huge that it took his computer four hours to copy it.

Although I’d been freelance writing for years before, I bought my first computer back in 1982. Over the years I’ve been moving files from disc to disc and from hard drive to hard drive through a bunch of computers.

My daily diaries, photos of naked internet women, Bible study notes, several drafts of 19 different books, dozens of book manuscript starts, web site materials, old newspaper articles, menus, work schedules – all this stuff disappeared when this last hard drive failed.

Yes, 20+ years of work gone in a tiny electric buzz.

Adam used his cyber skills and computer systems to resurrect the whole lot.

Somehow, he linked my burned out hard drive to one of his computers and jumped files from one to another. Then he took hard drive two and inserted it into the box on my desktop so that I now have two hard drives in the box.

You know something?

Only my name appears on the cover of my books. But the names of a host of other people should be there too. Donald who set me up with computers in the first place. Helen who worked in graphic designs. Eve who researched historical materials for me. Ginny who supported and encourages me in a thousand ways. Wes and Barbara who advise.... and now Adam who recovered all that I lost.

The Lord Christ richly blesses me with family and friends who believe in my work and make it possible for me to do it.

You know, this time in limbo without knowing if my work could ever be resurrected pained me; yet it also proved good for my soul.

While I felt anxious and fretted over loosing so many years of work, yet at the same time, I also reached a point of peace in reevaluating my work. If it had all been lost, what would have been lost?

Do I live for my writing? Or do I live for Christ through my writing?

Which is more important?

This time of trial brings me back to basics. Adam’s cyber skills give me a chance to start anew. Having lost every file, strengthens me.

In a sense, my work is my corn.

I remember what Jesus said about that, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit”.

So, my computer is fixed.

What will I find to complain about next?

Ginny says I hold a Black Belt in whining.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 6:18 AM

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Now Wait One Minute, Lord

Last night, when tv news announced the possibility/probability of a major hurricane (still to be named) hitting Florida’s east coast by next Monday, I immediately resorted to prayer.

“Lord,” I prayed, “You can’t send a hurricane now. We haven’t finished our disaster training classes yet”.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 6:44 AM

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Grim Subjects & Hope

Tuesday I fiddled around waiting for a silent phone to ring.

It stayed silent.

During our Citizens Emergency Response Team class, we discussed grim subjects: field treatment for severe burns, amputations, impaled objects, blast injuries from suicide bomber actions, Bird Flu, eye wounds, setting up a treatment area and a morgue, etc.

We learned how to begin an Incident Command System in which the first person on the scene takes charge using the principle that you start where you stand. The goal is to do as much good for as many people as possible knowing that time is your enemy.

The best we can do in a widespread disaster is to give victims their best shot at surviving till professional help arrives—however long that may taks.

Disaster conditions seldom disappear in one loud flash, they may go on for months on end.

Thinking in terms of my interest in history, I compare what we are being trained to do for widespread disaster victims with the medical techniques Florence Nightingale found the first day she arrived on the Crimean battlefront. In fact, I wonder if we don’t even revert to Civil War medicine in order to cope with modern disasters.

It looks overwhelming.

I remember an old cartoon from the 1950s or early ‘60s when Civil Defense against nuclear attack ran high in everyone’s mind and installing home fallout shelters was in vogue.

The cartoon shows an elderly couple shopping for a fallout shelter in a showroom where various models at various prices were on display.

The salesman is asking them, “Just how big a bomb do you want to survive”?

Our class makes me think of that cartoon.

The more we train, the more inadequate I feel.

In the prospect of widespread disaster, if I survive I’m confronted with the fact that while I will be able to do little, at least I can possibly do something.

That’s something.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 10:55 AM

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Long Tough Day

Writers read.

Monday I finished reading IT, a 1,000+ page novel by Stephen King.

A writing handbook I’m studying suggested that the aspiring writer study and analyze a book by an admired writer, and Stephen King is the writer I chose because I consider him to be the greatest craftsman alive.

I think I’ve read every Stephen King book, fiction and nonfiction, available. My favorite is Desperation. But I chose IT to analyze because of King’s large cast of characters and how he portrays them in the different ages of their lives.

My trouble with trying to study and examine a Stephen King book is that flow of his storytelling captures me so that I forget to analyze and just enjoy the story.

What a pleasure King is to read!

Over lunch at Dave’s Dinner, my friend Barbara White and I discussed King’s Dead Zone and marveled at his skill in foreshadowing events.

Barbara is retired religion editor of the local newspaper. Recently she spends a great deal of time ferrying her grown daughter, Mary, back and forth for chemotherapy treatments. I think Mary is on her fifth course of such treatments now and her doctor says she has lasted beyond the normal protocols for such treatments for small-cell lung cancer. He said she is on the outer fringes of treatment now.

Caring for her daughter exhausts Barbara.

I used my analogy of taking a loved one to a bus station or airport. And Barbara found it helpful.

You know, after you’ve packed everything, kissed and said your goodbye’s, and driven to the station, and unloaded baggage on the platform, and read the bulletin board, and talked over last minute instructions… And still the bus does not come for another 45 minutes!

Those last dragging minutes debilitate anyone.

You love ‘em, but you’re ready for them to leave.

There is no lack of love in your impatience, only the weariness of hanging around the bus station.

Or the doctor’s office.

Or the hospital room.

The guys at Dave’s teased the restaurant owner about just turning 40 this passt weekend. Chris, the head waiter, said, “You know you’re getting old when this month’s centerfold was born the year you graduated from highschool”!

Barbara came over and sat in our back garden talking as we looked for the hummingbirds to show up.

Perverse birds never did.

We talked about Jesus’ feeding of the five thousand and the nature of miracles in general.

I kept thinking of the grand miracle—Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

We tend to forget that the biblical word translated miracle can also be translated sign. The things Jesus did were signs to point out who He is.

Yes, it is humanly impossible to return from death three days after crucifixion.

That’s the whole point!

Humanly impossible.

Yet St. Paul declares that Jesus is declared to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead.

He is never presented as a local boy who made good as far as death is concerned, but Jesus is proclaimed to be God come in the flesh, Emmanuel, God with us.

What He did is the sign of who He is.

Monday evening Ginny and I attended a neighborhood watch meeting where she reported on our CERTs training.

Our guest speaker was Lisa who gave us some fine gardening tips then led the group on a tour of her lovely garden, a garden which puts mine to shame. We only toured half before dark fell, so I invited her to speak again and continue the tour at a future meeting.

As the glorious president, grand phewbah, and exalted leader of the group, I got to end the meeting with one of my wonderful jokes:

Ernie was a very wealthy man.

He could buy anything he wanted.

But, alas, he forgot his wife’s birthday.

She was furious. Irate! She dragged him to the living room window and pointed to the driveway. “Tomorrow morning I want to see my birthday present sitting right there in the drive,” she screamed. “It had better be something that’ll go from zero to 200 in less than fifteen seconds, or you’re going to be sorry!”

Well, next morning she looks out the window and sees a package in the driveway. It’s wrapped in beautiful paper with a gold bow on top.

She rushes out, rips off the paper and finds a brand new bathroom scale.

You might want to pray for Ernie.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 6:44 AM

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Where To From Here?

This weekend I hunched over my computer keyboard trying to figure out where to go from here.

If our friend Adam, who recently graduated with a degree in computer science, can repair my broken hard drive, then I plan to finish the book on Jacksonville’s fire department history. If the thing is too broken for him to restore, I’ve outlined another novel to write.

But, in outlining this novel and profiling characters and setting up scenes, I discovered that my initial premise is not true.


I attempt to be an honest man and enough false ideas float around in the atmosphere already, so it goes against my grain to promote an idea that I don’t believe is not true.

But this is a novel, a work of fiction. Nobody believes a make-believe story. Yes a novel should be true to life but it is a work of the imagine. The rabbits in Richard Adams’ Watership Down act real, but no one is lead astray into thinking real rabbits talk.

Nevertheless, I feel uncomfortable promoting a false premise.

So, I hunch brooding over my computer.

Waiting for word from Adam as to whether or not he can restore my history files.

I’ve been at this thing too long.

I’m beginning to atrophy.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 5:51 AM

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Case Of Dozer Envy

When Rex moves, he really moves!

About six weeks ago my neighbor Rex began moving his family to a new home in the town of Macclenny a few miles west of Jacksonville. He owns some acreage out there in the pine woods where he’s building a new home himself. He’s building it from digging the foundations to mounting the chimney cap.

He has mechanical aptitude.

To landscape the new home, he decided to move some things to his new home before he rents out the old place in our neighborhood.

So Friday he showed up nest door with a bulldozer.

A huge yellow machine with metal tank treads, a digging scoop on one end and a bulldozer blade on the other. With surgical precision Rex lifted three trees, a bunch of border grass, and a dozen hedge plants (each between eight and ten feet tall) out of the ground and placed them in a truck to transplant at his new home.

I helped out by carrying him a glass of ice water.

Mostly I just watched.

My camera is out by our fountain where I’ve been stalking the elusive ruby-throated hummingbird to snap a photo, so I missed taking a picture of the dozer in action.

Now here’s the kicker.

Sid, Rex’s son who is about seven or eight years old, tagged along to help. Rex has taught Sid how to operate this big yellow dozer. During a break, Sid explained to me how one lever lifts the shovel and another dumps it. He explained to me how the dozer will turn on a dime if you make one set of treads churn forward and the other set in reverse.

Rex had time constraints so neither Sin nor I got to work the dozer Friday, but Rex says that Sid can dig an adequate hole once they get home--- I emphasize that Rex observes every safety precaution and supervises closely as he teaches his son skills which he himself learned as a boy.

Over the years I have watched Rex teach Sid how to peddle a tricycle, ride a bike, drive a battery-powered ATV. What a great Dad. Sid is growing up with a sense of confidence and such a positive self-image knowing he is loved and protected and that he can do mighty things.

I never learned how to do stuff like that.

How I wish my Dad had shown me guy stuff like this.

I wish I could have passed on such skills to my sons and daughters.

I wanted to drive Rex’s dozer and dig a hole myself so bad I could taste it.

A guy with that kind of dozer power at his finger tips must feel like Godzilla or the Incredible Hulk!

I wanted to try my hand at ripping up trees.

Wow! Picture me at the controls of a big yellow dozer.

How macho is that?

But, no time.

There was work to be done.

I didn’t get to climb up to the driver’s seat.

I never touched the controls.

I felt both disappointed and relieved.

Actually I was scared to touch the thing. Boy! Is that dozer loud.

So, I had to be content with letting a seven-year-old boy mater of factly explain to me how the big yellow dozer works.

Oh well, when it comes to gifts, God has endowed each of us with our own. When it comes to mechanical aptitude, I’m a whiz with a Scotch Tape dispenser.

Most of the day Saturday, Ginny and I lounged in the pool floating on air mattresses, holding hands, chatting, and napping.

We enjoyed lunch at Georgie’s BBQ where we briefly talked with the manager, the guy whose heart red-lined once when we were there. I wrote about that back on July 29th “One Thousand And One…” and on August 3rd “Was It Something I Said” in 2007.

By God’s grace a roomful of people jumped in to save his life.

I could not help but reflect on the difference between that situation of responding to an individual having a heart attack and the CERT Training we are taking to prepare for dozens or even hundreds of victims in a major life-threatening situation.

Our training gears us for major disasters such as an atomic bomb, a Cat Three hurricane, or a terrorist attack when there will be multiple victims in bad shape and no outside help can arrive for days on end.

In such scenarios, if we survive ourselves, our goal is to do the greatest good for the greatest number—Keep ‘em breathing, Keep ‘em from bleeding out, and Keep ‘em from further shock.

And, of course, if the place is on fire, to Keep ‘em from burning.

No CPR. No holding hands. No splinting broken burns—just do the essentials for as many as possible knowing that many others will suffer and die of our reach.

I wish more people on our block at signed up for this training.

We have no guarantee that we will survive, but if by God’s grace we do, it’s going to feel awfully lonely out there.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 9:13 AM

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Friday, August 08, 2008

Exemplary & Exhausted

During the annual job performance rating at her office yesterday, Ginny earned an Exemplary ranking, the highest any employee can earn.

I’m proud of her.

On the other hand at my work all I get is exhausted.

Dealing with my hard drive crash, I’ve done all I’m able to do to restore and reconstruct my manuscript on the history of the Jacksonville Fire Department. Prospects for recovering this book look bleak. So I’ve called in outside help, my neighbor’s son Adam who recently graduated with a degree in computer science.

If he is not able to resurrect the files, then I’ll have to scrap the project altogether; there’s just too much material missing from years of research.

Last November I was within weeks of finishing the manuscript, even had the book cover designed; so I hate to scrap this book manuscript because some people already want to buy the book even though they haven’t even seen a sample copy yet.

Ginny’s exemplary; I’m exhausted.

But together, we’re still one hell of a team!

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 5:52 AM

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Last week as July temperatures soared above 90 degrees, our air conditioner broke. It sounded as though a helicopter had landed inside the house walls.

Ginny and I have been saving toward having the whole 20+ year-old system replaced but we can’t afford to do that job yet.

After we weighed options about what to do for a long while, I called my former neighbor Rex, whose family moved out into the country a few weeks ago, and I asked him to come back and repair the AC for me.

I hated to bother him because he’s in the midst of job changes, outfitting a new house, caring for an adopted child and an elderly mother-in-law, and preparing his old house for sale.

But in spite of his own full plate, Rex drove back into town immediately. He disassembled our helicopter, identified the problem (the thing he calls a squirrel cage is out of round and vibrates anchor screws loose), and repaired our ac so it will work for at least another couple of months.

Thank God for Rex! He’s such a good neighbor to come at once and take such pains for us when he no longer even lives in this neighborhood. I don’t know what we could have done without him; I have neither the strength to lift out the heavy machinery, not the sight to see into the dark crevices where the loose screws hide, nor the knowledge to fix the problem myself. Thank God for Rex!

He’s a one cool guy who keeps us cool too.

Ginny and I attended another Civilian Emergency Response Team training class last night.

The evening’s class covered disaster medicine triage, a heavy subject.

People are going to die in a major disaster.

That’s a given.

Our training assumes that the number of live but severely injured victims will far exceed us amateur rescuers and trained professional help will be a long time (maybe days) in arriving at the scene.

We are learning the START method of triage to give the injured the best chance of survival. Our goal is to do the greatest good for the greatest number as we race against the clock with limited non-professional resources.

The time element looms large because we’ll have about 30 seconds per person to determine who among the injured lives or dies. We must evaluate, institute rapid treatment, and move on to the next person as quickly as possible.

Last night’s training scenario involved the wreck of school bus with only 28 students aboard. In a major disaster of course there’d be many more victims needing immediate help. And you’re working in a non-sterile, and maybe dangerous, environment.

If you spend too much time on Victim Three (say trying to give him CPR) , then victims four, seven, twelve, nineteen, and twenty-three may bleed out. START triage trains us to do what we can for Victim Three as quick as we can, then tag him dead, and move on to the next person trapped in the wreckage.

Heavy stuff.

It weighs on me that out of the 57 homes in the horseshoe formed by our street, Ginny and I are the only people who signed up for this training.

We’ll do what we can for folks, but as our instructor said, “Sometimes, you just have to let ‘em die”.

As we studied the START triage method, I thought of the Rich Young Ruler told about in Matthew 19 and in Luke 18; Jesus gave him his best chance at survival but when the young man refused, Jesus let him walk away.

Jesus did not chase after him.

I’ve heard the idea of God pleading and pleading and whining for us to repent and believe on the risen Christ for salvation.

I doubt if that’s a true picture.

Sometimes in the divine triage, He just lets us die.

In one place God said, “My spirit will not always strive with men”. In another place the Scripture says, “Today is the day of salvation”.

Triage is heavy stuff.

On a lighter note (this is for the Kid In The Attic)

My journal hardly ever mentions politics but there is a presidential campaign going on in the US right now.

The Republican candidate is John McCain; the Democratic candidate is Barack Obama.

I do not plan to vote for any Republican because I see them as consistently making life harder than it needs to be for poor people; I do not plan to vote for a Democrat because when I voted in the Florida Primary, the Democratic party refuse to count votes from Florida.

After the Florida Primary, I decided that I’d write in the name of some other candidate on my ballot in November.

Now, here’s what’s funny:

Last week the Republicans ran a political tv ad comparing the democratic candidate to media celebrity Paris Hilton, a young lady famous for being famous.

Essentially the Republican attack ad portrayed both the Democratic candidate and Ms Hilton as ignorant bimbos.

Well, this morning the articulate Ms Hilton, lounging in a bikini, responded by releasing her own campaign ad: It can be viewed on line at http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/64ad536a6d

Want to bet that many voters, disgusted with the political infighting of the major parties, will place her name on their ballots?

I will not make such a frivolous choice.

I think only fair that the other candidates deserve equal time.

When I see McCane and Obama in bikinis on tv, then I’ll decide who to vote for.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 9:37 AM

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Meeting Mike

Put a sword in Mike’s hand, toss a bear skin across his shoulders, and you’d have a Viking warrior.

Salt and pepper hair tied back in a ponytail. Muscular arms. Solid stance. Rugged countenance. Chiseled features. Exuding power.

If I didn’t know better, I’d think Mike posed for that picture of the emperor Charlemagne in the history books.

My friend Wes brought Mike over to meet me yesterday and the three of us went to Dave’s Dinner (where else?) for breakfast then returned to my backyard to sit and smoke and talk about Christ.

I hesitate to meet new people. But Mike soon made me feel comfortable as he told about his own journey with Christ. He said that during the Viet Nam war he served America as a machine gunner on a helicopter.

He said that during that war only one of the enemy was killed for every 20,000 bullets fired. As a Marine slogan goes, “When in doubt, empty the magazine”.

Mike referred to his time “in country” as a simple time in his life “because the only thing you worry about is staying alive today”. He said he de-humanized the enemy so he had no qualms about firing on them.

But after the war, he and his ex-wife worked in Canada where he met a Vietnamese expatriate; they visited the man’s home and had dinner with his family. Once the enemy had a face, I had to see him as a human being just as I am, Mike said.

“Wasn’t long after that that I began to read the Bible and pray—you can’t imagine how unusual that is for a guy like me—then I turned my life over to Christ and nothing’s been the same since,” Mike said.

He advised me to pay attention to my instincts. “Your instincts may not always be 100 per cent accurate,” he said, “But they are always good. So follow them”.

The Bible uses the phrase “Mighty man of valor” 37 times, after meeting Mike for the first time Monday, I form a better mental picture of what the Scripture means by that phrase.

The seal of Gedaliahu ben Pashur discovered in Jerusalem

Back on June 26th, I wrote comparing my own hard drive crash and loss of files to how the Prophet Jeremiah wrote a 35-chapter long scroll only to have it cut up and burned a strip at a time by King Jehoiakim.

Well, yesterday’s Google news (at http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=71386 ) announced that a signet seal of one of the bad guys in that biblical incident, Gedaliah son of Pashur, has been excavated by archaeologists in Jerusalem.

Gedaliah and his wicked buddies dropped Jeremiah into a cistern to drown, but the water was too shallow so the prophet wallowed in scum, slime and mire at the bottom of the well. That sort of thing was an occupational hazard for prophets.

In His own sweet time, God sent some good guys with ropes to pull Jeremiah out of the well and stand him before the king to keep right on prophesying..

Whenever I hear about any exciting archaeological discovery, it gives me such a kick. I envy the people honored to conduct such excavations. I wish I could be with them.

Oh, incidentally, the Prophet Jeremiah uses the term “Mighty Man of Valor” five times in his book, but he never uses it to describe himself; he only uses that phrase to point to God’s glory:

Thus saith the LORD, “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight”.

--- Jeremiah 9:23-26

A deep theological problem I have with the Prophet Jeremiah is that I never think of him without also thinking of the great 1971 Hoyt Axton hit song:

Jeremiah was a bullfrog,
He was good
friend of mine.
I never understood a single word he said,
But I helped him drink his wine.
He always had some mighty fine
Sing it!
Joy to the world...
All the boys and girls now ,
Joy to the fishies in the
deep blue sea
And joy to you and me.

I may not remember that Scripture quotation but that tune’s going to be running through my head all day now!

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 6:07 AM

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Sunday, August 03, 2008

I Learn How -- After I’ve Done It

I’ve noticed this phenomena before:

I don’t learn how to do something till after I’ve already done it.


Work piled up so that Ginny and I decided to put in an extra work day Saturday. I don’t know what she was doing in the other room, but I continued formatting that 246 page manuscript I mentioned Friday.

I reformatted it one page at a time till I neared page 188. then it occurred to me that if I selected a segment where I wanted to change to a different font. Then I could right-click and chose the option Select Text With Similar Formatting. By my doing that, and changing one font in one place, the computer changed every other place that same font appeared throughout the whole 246 pages.

All at once.

And here I’d been scrolling through text making changes one page at a time.

One paragraph at a time.

Thus, while the first half of the manuscript took me three days to format, the second half--once I learned what I was doing--was formatted in just seconds!

Isn’t that amazing?

I did not learn how to do it, till I was almost through doing it.

Back when we installed the rain gutters on the house, I did not learn how to work the rivet gun till only a few rivets remained to be done.

In my faith, I remember time and again when I did not learn to obey Jesus till long after I’d already been trying to do it on my own.

Maybe that why He said for us to take up our cross daily and follow Him.

Maybe that’s why the Scripture says we are to “Taste and see that the Lord is good”.

Neither a step of faith nor a computer option makes much sense till after we’re committed to doing it…

Which brings me to another subject.

My youngest son, Donald, and his wife dropped by yesterday to deliver a birthday present from our friends Randy and Lisa. Ginny and I had missed our birthday party on July 19th. And Donald and Helen could not deliver the present until now.

Donald explained some research he’s doing:

Back in 1926 a mathematician named Cunningham discovered that by taking the square root of any number and adding or subtracting the number one, you ended up with a number which can be factored. Donald is developing a computer cluster which can factor Cunningham Numbers…


Donald thinks that deserves a whoot anyhow.

I have no idea what he’s talking about.

Another of his research projects involves linking eight camera’s to a GPS system with a computer system, all aboard an all terrain vehicle. This construction drives into devastated areas after a hurricane or tornado to asses wind damage. The pinpoint information can be used for rescue, recovery and reconstruction as well as to formulate protective measures against future storms.

While Donald enthused about his research projects, I hurt Helen.

In conversation, I touched on a sensitive subject which pains her.

Instead of shutting my big mouth when I realized I was distressing her, I tried to expound and explain and elaborate -- thereby hurting her more.

I made her cry.


I would not have hurt her for the world, I love Helen and value her as a great addition to our family.

Yet I bullheaded on keeping talking, trying to straightening things, making it all worse.


Why can’t I learn to shut up till after I’ve already spouted off?

I do not learn how to do something till after I’ve already done it.

Er… maybe that explains the gift Randy and Lisa sent to Ginny and me.

They gave us a copy of Burton’s translation of the Kama Sutra.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 5:36 AM

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Friday, August 01, 2008

I See A Big Raw Frog

Once, when I faced the unpleasant duty of forgiving someone I did not want to forgive, my long ago friend Poke McHenry, a popular newspaper columnist, offered me spiritual counsel.

“John,” Poke said, “When there comes a time in your life when you absolutely have to eat a live frog raw, it’s best not to look at it too long beforehand”.

Well, for six or eight weeks now I’ve been looking at a frog.

Poke was right.

Eating the thing doesn’t get any easier by taking my time looking over the problem from every angle.

Therefore, I’m proud to announce that this past week I have eaten the raw frog.

My current frog relates to a book project I needed to restore after my hard drive crashed destroying hundreds of pages of work. I avoided the project for as long as possible but yesterday I completed reconstructing 246 pages of lost text.

This restoration has taken me all week long.

Because I hesitated to tackle the project for so long, it grew larger daily.

Eventually I faced eating an elephant-sized frog.

Still do.

All those 246 pages must be reformatted manually, one paragraph at a time.

I shriek!

But, as Jesus said, “Sufficient to the day is the evil thereof”.

I’m not to borrow tomorrow’s troubles, but take care of today’s.

I remember telling my children when they were in school and faced a swcience project assignment that overwhelmed them –

How do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time.

So I find that I can’t look at this manuscript too long and that I need to eat my own words one bite at a time.

That’s where I am now.

The next step in the project daunts me, but I’ll tackle it.

Who knows, I may develop a taste for raw frog.

Yesterday my daughter Jennifer drove me around for some errands. We enjoyed lunch at Dave’s Diner talking about dog training. Afterwards, she bought me, among a basketful of other things, nine new goldfish to add to our aquarium.

They’re beautiful.

Yesterday also I learned ,from a blogger in Great Britain, about a huge religious meeting taking place a few miles south of here (everything in Florida is a few miles south of Jacksonville). I checked out several websites related to this event.

I’d approached those sites anticipating something good.

But the more I read about this event, the more creepy crawly I felt.

I see that event promoters can arrange flight and hotel reservations for people who attend the meetings. They recommend restaurants which offer special discount rates to attendees. They promote fainting at a leader’s touch, physical healings, book sales, tv reviews, DVDs and— Can I be reading this right???--Encounters with angels,.

A bunch of people urge others to travel to Florida to see God in action.

And people from all over flock to this thing in droves.

As I read the material, listened to sermon excerpts, and viewed videos, that creepy crawly feeling increased.

Something Jesus said kept running through my mind:

“If any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not…Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore, if they shall say unto you, Behold He is in the desert, go not forth. Behold He is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

“For as the lightening cometh out of the east and shineth even unto the west; so shall the coming of the Son of man be”.

Humm… That puts a different light on things happening downstate.

God breaks in where we are at this moment.

We need not travel anywhere to meet the omnipresent God.

But what about seeking God?

If the Scripture teaches me anything, it’s that God seeks me a whole lot more than I seek Him.

So, do I intend to drive even a few miles downstate into the desert of south Florida?


So anyhow, I see I have this real big frog on my plate….

It’s looking back at me.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 5:11 AM

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