Rabid Fun

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

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The World Around Me

I view my diary as an archive of events taking place in my own little world, but occasionally I raise my head to look around at what’s going on in the world around me and I leave a note for the Kid In The Attic.

I envision the Kid In The Attic as a young person who will happen across my old diaries in a box in some dusty attic a hundred years from now. I want him to know how a Christian life was lived by one lone guy in the past; he will see good and bad in my life with little varnish. That way he’ll know what he may be getting into if he chooses to make his own commitment to Christ.

“The only thing that keeps an archivist going is the thought that what he’s doing today will be appreciated a hundred years from now when somebody who can really make a difference to society uses the materials”.

—Charles A. Goodrum
Director of Research
Library of Congress

So, Kid In The Attic, here’s a brief overview of the world around me at this moment:


This morning’s news tells of an 8.2 earthquake and tsunami that hit Samoa and Indonesia overnight leaving hundreds dead.

My diary archives for May 29, 2006, tells about how one of my Christian books was translated into the Indonesian language. Indonesia has the largest Muslim population of any country on earth. I hope my tiny voice of witness comforts some of the people in that suffering nation.

The enemy in Afghanistan killed five Americans yesterday. That war goes on. The news hardly tells about any enemy killed by American troops.

In Great Britain, a couple inherited an old farm. Good news. Immediately the couple was presented with a bill for 230,000 £ for renovations to the parish church. It seems that back in the 1530s, when King Henry VIII granted the farm to the couple’s ancestors, the King made a law stipulating that whoever owned the Glebe Farm must pay for any upkeep to the local Parish church, St. John The Baptist, Ashton Cantlow, Warwickshire.

Shakespeare's parents were married in that church.

Here are photos of Glebe Farm and that ancient church from the Daily Mail at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1216730/Couple-forced-sell-farm-500-000-pay-repair-church-Shakespeares-parents-married.html:

The couple protested the bill for church repair to Parliament but the ancient law was upheld. Bad news. The couple must sell the farm to pay the church’s expenses.

I’m sure glad that here in this country we have separation of church and state. Of course, I also believe that churches and other religious organizations should not be exempt from property taxes. Churches ought to pay taxes like everyone else without exception. God is not broke, He can afford to render to Caesar.

The National Weather Services reports that no hurricanes are likely to form in the Atlantic in the next two days. No hurricane has threatened Florida this season—so far.

Archaeologist in Rome have uncovered the gears of a huge revolving dining room in the remains of Nero’s Palace, Domus Aurea, "The Golden House" on Palatine Hill. Apparently the room revolved giving diners a different, ever-changing view of the gardens. The gears were turned by water pressure. Long ago I wrote a piece, The Ugliest Picture In The World, which tells about an early antiChristian graffiti found in the Domus Aurea. It’s the earliest pictorial representation of Jesus Christ.


Politicians are doing political stuff.

Congress continues to bat the issue of healthcare around. I imagine that final bill will spell out that it includes coverage for every citizen except John Cowart.

The nation is gearing up for a massive Porky Flu inoculation (more about that locally).

The current economic crisis continues.

The recent floods are receding in Atlanta, Georgia.


After months of bickering like kindergarteners, and threatening to beat us up and take our lunch money, yesterday the City Council finally passed a budget. Libraries will stay open. Garbage will be collected. An ambulance may come if you have a heart attack. Police will still patrol our streets. And city money will still subsidize gravy businesses like the Landing and that football team.

After year after year after year of delay, the new court house is being built. When Ginny and I drove by the site last night, we saw construction workers busy—earning overtime pay.

Because of Porky Flu, yesterday, five area Baptist hospitals limited visitation to only immediate family members who must wear masks. As of last week, there have been 91 H1N1 deaths in Florida, including eight in Jacksonville—so far.

Our Neighborhood

Our Neighborhood Watch meeting Monday night drew 22 people, our best attendance in ages. Police officers said JSO has only responded to ten calls here in the past month, which makes us one of the most crime-free areas in Jacksonville. Our Neighborhood Watch is working. Lisa, Carol and Warren put an enormous amount of work into making this meeting successful.

The home mortgage crisis hits our neighborhood hard. Carol reported that on our block of 57 houses, 14 now sit empty because of foreclosures.

Lisa is putting together a local newsletter to keep all posted. I encouraged people to sign up for the next Citizens Emergency Response Team classes.


Ginny and I continue to seek the Lord’s guidance about heater A/C repairs.

Yesterday, I proofed the first 40 pages of the book I’m writing about seeking and doing the will of God.

Ginny and I volunteered to help out with the massive, city-wide Porky Flu vaccination for every person in Jacksonville. We have to take an Incident Control class to orient us to serve. This is related to FEMA’s bioterrorism section.

Our youngest son, Donald, continues to teach theology to his cat. Yesterday, he uploaded another video for Morning Seminary at http://www.youtube.com/user/dzcowart .

Thinking of Donald, I contributed this to our Neighborhood Watch newsletter:

John’s Joke
Dinner At The White House

To foster goodwill, President Roosevelt invited some ordinary citizen to each state dinner at the White House.

When Joe received his invitation, he panicked. He’d never been to a state dinner before and did not know how to act. Had to rent a tuxedo.

His wife reassured him. “Just watch the President,” she said. “Do what he does. Use the same kind of fork he picks up. Use the same kind of glass he drinks from. If you do just what the President does, you’ll be fine”.

At the formal dinner Joe watched the President. He used the same kind of silverware, the same kind of crystal all through the meal.

When coffee was served, the President placed his right in the middle of the table in front of him. Joe placed his right in front of him.

The President removed his cup from his saucer and set the cup on the white tablecloth. Joe removed his cup from his saucer and placed it aside too.

The President picked up a silver creamer and poured milk into his saucer. Joe took a silver creamer and poured milk into his saucer.

Setting his saucer on the floor, President Roosevelt said, “Young man, I don’t know what you’re doing, but I’m giving some milk to my cat”.

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 @ 9:49 AM

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Views Of Philology

My back aches when I sit too long at the computer.

After every hour or so I spend writing, I break to smoke a pipe and read for a bit in a different chair. Sometimes I just read murder mysteries, but to justify to my own mind that I’m really working, I often read books related to my profession as a writer.

Yes, reading enlightens the soul and refreshes the mind.

For instance, yesterday I finished copyright declarations for the 22 books I’m listing in the Google Books Partner Program, a tedious task. During my break I could have read a mystery, but virtuously I chose to read a book related to philology, the study of words.

Dr. Marina Orlova, arguably one of the world’s foremost philologists, holds two degrees related to linguistics and etymology. Her book, Hot For Words (N.Y. HarperCollins. ©2009. 183+ pages) examines word and phrase origins in the light of phonetics, phonology, syntax, and semantics.

Exciting reading.

After my break, I returned to formatting the 278 pages of the book I’m writing on finding and doing the will of God. My working title is If God Leads Me, Why Do I Run In Circles?

After a couple of hours, I took another break to read Dr. Orlova’s book. The subtitle of the book says it contains, “Answers to all your burning questions about words and their meanings”.

Words covered in the text include nicebecetur (a dainty, fashionable woman), mathmatics, and skinny-dipping.

As I prepared my own books for submission to the publisher, I had to reformat much of my text because over the years I’ve been working on this one, I used several different computer programs and needed to make them all conform to a consistent format.

Time for another break and back to my intense study of philology.

I learned that Dr. Orlova holds degrees in both Russian and English language instruction. Her website, is named the same as her book Hot For Words. Her site index lists words and phrases she covers in brief video presentations at http://www.hotforwords.com/words/ . The site draws over 170,000 subscribers.

I did not know that many people were interested in philology.

Dr. Orlova’s book is also lavishly illustrated.

Oh, did I mention that she teaches most of her lessons in philology while wearing bikini-like outfits?

But, of course, I only read her book for the articles.

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 @ 5:21 AM

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Sea Of Tranquility

The best days of my life are the most difficult to write about.

Saturday Ginny and I took our coffee into the backyard, sat in lounge chairs and resumed the same running conversation we’ve been enjoying for the past 40 years. We chatted about yard work that needs doing, but we didn’t life a finger to do any of it.

We talked about lizards and birds and flowers and sex and news stories and friends and children and books. We anticipated our upcoming vacation and remembered ones from years past.

That’s it.

We spent the whole day sipping coffee and chatting about pleasant things.

Sunday our conversation turned to decision making in three areas: installing the new air conditioning system, life insurance, and our role in Porky flu inoculations.

All of this is so complicated, you can see why we seek the Lord’s guidance in such mundane decisions. Anything more high-tech than an on/off light switch loses me.

Decision making and seeking God’s will makes me long for the good old days of Urim and Thummin.

Having gone through the process of deciding about A/C companies, I find the idea of examining the entrails of a goat (or preferably a salesman) and reading the caul of the liver appealing.

It’s a shame we can’t do that anymore.

Druids had it easy.

I’m working on a book about finding and doing the will of God, So it may help me to explain the process Ginny and I are going through in the A/C matter:

The only Scripture that occurs to me remotely related to A/C home improvements is the one about the guy who started to build a tower but had to quit because he didn’t have the cash to finish the job and everybody mocked him.

Earlier this summer, Ginny sent our a blanket e-mail to everyone in her office asking about their experiences good or bad with A/C contractors. The replies warned us away from some companies and inclined us toward some others.

Having prayed for guidance beforehand, over the past week I’ve gathered information from five A/C companies. One company we eliminated out of hand because their estimator showed up at our house three hours after he said he’d be here; if that company proves so unreliable on first contact, we want nothing to do with them.

Another company offered a brand of machinery we’d never heard of, and another company appeared to be misrepresenting their services. We checked online with the Better Business Bureau, The sated Consumer Affairs Division, Complaints.Com, and Rip-Off Reports. All the companies we considered came through with clean bills of health. But we eliminated one because their pricing seemed hazy.

We finally chose one company that felt right even though they cost more than the others. Now, with a $4,000 variance between high and low bids of the different companies, we are looking about how to finance and we prayed as we discussed options in that area. One option we briefly considered is a home equity loan…

No, we do not want to gamble on any chance of losing our home.

That decision was confirmed when on Sunday afternoon, our little sea of tranquility rippled.

I had not checked my e-mail for several days and when I did I found a note from my two older sons who live up in Maryland. The bank foreclosed on their home, a home where they have lived for over 45 years. The guys lost their home and have had to move to an apartment.

That news makes me heartsick.

I knew they had refinanced a while back and had had a bout with unemployment for a while, but I thought they found new jobs and were doing fine.

I’m so sorry for them.

Funny, one of the things Ginny and I discussed Saturday was whether or not God, who is complete in Himself, ever got frustrated. She cited the time when Jesus wept over Jerusalem. “I would have gathered you like chicks under my wings. But you would not”. And I cited the case of the Rich Young Ruler; when he walked away, Jesus gazed after him sorrowing.

Incredible, that puny human beings can frustrate Almighty God!

Yet, somehow, I think He will manage.

Our choice of weekend movies to edify our souls were Frankenstein’s Daughter, Batchelor Pad, and a DVD disc of The Sopranos.

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 @ 6:26 AM

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Two Fine Young Men

In two hours Friday night our son Donald fixed some computer challenges I’ve struggled with for two weeks.

What a blessing!

He added a new feature to the sidebar of my blog—a Bluefish Books search box right under my Bluefish logo. Now readers can search my books for any subject I’ve ever written about and be taken directly to one of my books that addresses that topic….Er, at least that’s the way it will work once all 22 books have been processed by the Google Books Partner Program (only nine books have been processed so far, but they are working on the others).

I’m tickled.

Donald told us that he updates his early morning video Morning Seminary talks each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It was so funny to see one of his cats climb on him while he talked about dispensationalist ideas in today’s clip.

The church he and Helen attends has a building fund in progress. But recently the congregation became aware of a woman living in a dilapidated trailer. They decided that getting this person decent housing was more important and withdrew money from their building fund to buy her a decent newer mobile home.

I’m impressed.

Another thing impressed me as Donald took Ginny and me to a Chinese restaurant for dinner. Ginny often tells me about office problems when she gets home from work. But, over supper, she unloaded her heart to Donald. I think they forgot I was even at the table. I think Donald has a pastor’s heart and his mother was responding to that at a deeper level than she could respond to me.

That really makes me happy.

The other young man I encountered Friday was Reggie, the air conditioning man, who came out to give us an estimate on replacing our 19-year-old system. He is the fifth repairman to give me an estimate on the work.

He explained technical things to me that the others glazed over. It seems that one reason so many companies offer low prices and specials this month is that next year government regulations will phase out the use of freeon coolants because of ozone layer damage and replace that gas with another substance. Therefore some companies are pushing the old-style systems to clear their stock before the new regulations appear.

I’ve picked up hints of this from the other estimators which made me suspect something but I was not sure why they kept encouraging me to look at the 13 seer machines when the tax credit only covers 15 seer and above.

But, aside from air conditioner stuff, Reggie and I talked about local history, gardening, and God. I dug up some bromeliads, firecracker aloe, and pineapple lilies for him to take home to his wife. And we talked a bit about prayer and price.

Reggie’s company charges more than any of the others I’ve talked with.

That may prohibit us from buying from them.

Ginny and I have gathered all the information we can. We’ve prayed about our decision—and even about whether or not we need to make a decision. We are evaluating the various offers and looking at our finances to determine what, if anything we can reasonably afford within our perimeters, budget and plans for Ginny’s retirement.

Price is a big factor for us.

I told Reggie about how driving to a restaurant one evening we stopped at a light and read the bumper sticker of the car ahead:

If You Die Tonight, Will You Be In Heaven—Or In Hell?

I asked Ginny, “If we die tonight will we be in Heaven or in Hell”?

She said, “John, if we die tonight, we’ll still be in debt”.

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 @ 12:29 AM

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Three Things:

First off, in case you missed the link to my son’s Theology In His Sleep videos on YouTube, the site address is at http://www.youtube.com/user/dzcowart . I get a real kick out of it.

I’m proud of him.

Second, I wasted four hours Thursday.

In the morning I received two e-mails, both long and strongly worded, attacking me and something I wrote recently.

That both hurt and raised my hackles.

Immediately I jumped in and wrote a reply defending myself and what I’d written.

I took a firm stand and declared, “What I have written, I have written”.

Didn’t somebody in the Bible say that?

Like him, I did not want to back down.

My defense appeared powerful and witty in my own eyes. I worked writing this thing for hours, then I sat down to smoke a pipe and gloat over my clever response before I posted it online.

As I puffed my pipe, a phrase of Scripture popped into my mind—“He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth”.

Yes, when accused, the Lord Jesus offered no defense.

St. Peter even said, “Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree”.

These thoughts brought me up short.

Why was I so riled and so quick to jump to defend and justify myself?

Don’t I have a Defender who’s a little better at the job than I am?

So what if someone thinks ill of me? So long as I’m accepted in the Beloved, what does it matter what anyone else thinks of me?

I’m very glad I did not post that witty stuff I wrote. I would have regretted it. Now, all I have to regret is the time I spent writing a reply, a reply which said, in all Christian charity, “Tough Tit”.

Thus, my lesson for today was not how to defend myself, but why not to.

Third thing—Now for the fun stuff!—Gold! Lots of Gold!

That photo shows only a small sample of a gold treasure from Anglo-Saxon days uncovered in Staffordshire recently.

Using his metal detector in a field near his home, Mr. Terry Herbert, discovered over 1,345 gold items dating back more than 1,300 years.

His find is told about in two articles with photographs in yesterday’s London Daily News at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1215723/Staffordshire-hoard-Amateur-treasure-hunter-finds-Britains-biggest-haul-Anglo-Saxon-gold.html

This is the largest hoard of gold items ever discovered in Great Britain. Experts have not placed a cash value on all of it yet, they say it could take years to evaluate the collection, but it’s worth millions.

The Mail says, “Many of the items in the hoard are warfare paraphernalia inlaid with precious stones, including sword pommel caps and hilt plates”

Sixth Century artisans inscribed a Latin Bible verse on this gold fixture from a sword scabbard; it says, “Rise up, O Lord, and may Thy enemies be dispersed and those who hate Thee be driven from Thy Face”.

To me, an amazing thing about this find is how the golden artifacts lie buried so close to the surface:

Wow! Think of it! An incredible treasure just below the surface. When you hear your metal detector beep an alert, all you have to do is scratch the surface, and there you see the most valuable thing you’ve ever found in your life!

Jesus said, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field”.

Humm… Of course Jesus said that before metal detectors were invented.

But, still I wonder…

In ancient times someone folded up this jeweled gold cross—perhaps because they did not like what it stands for, or perhaps to make it small enough to fit into a leather bag.

The Mail says, “The hoard is currently being held in secure storage at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery but a selection of items are to be displayed at the museum from tomorrow until October 13”.

I used to have a cheap metal detector, one step removed from a toy. It beeped whenever it passed over anything metal. I took it out in my yard… Beep. Beep. Beep. I found a coin from Bahrain! How did a coin from that far country end up buried in the sand of my back yard, I’ll never know.

Beep. Beep. Beep. I found my yard is full of roofing nails from old construction, bottle caps, tab tops, stuff like that just under the surface. I was disappointed so often, I began to ignore the beeps.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

Do I believe that alert? Is that a real treasure or just the metal spring from a lost clothes pin? Or is this beep just a false reading?

The only way to find out is to scratch the surface.

The kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure buried in a field…

Every once in a while the Holy Spirit says Beep, Beep, Beep to the human heart. We hear His alert and we decide whether or not to believe His call or to disregard it. We chose whether or not to investigate what’s just beneath the surface.

Again and again and again, He says, “Beep. Beep. Beep”.

“What do you mean sell all that I have!”

That’s crazy.

What’s God trying to pull here?

Beep. Beep. Beep.

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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Thursday, September 24, 2009

What A Day!

NEWS FLASH…. There’s late-breaking hot news about our youngest son, Donald, at the bottom of this posting.


Up at 4 a.m. Wednesday to post yesterday’s diary entry and write a couple of e-mails to my e-friends in Russia. I feel guilty that my letters were harsh. I’ve thought for days and days about how to respond. But gentle does not seem to have helped their situation. I would not have butted in at all but they approached me and I wanted to advise them as best I’m able.

Those e-mails started my day as a downer.

My friend Barbara White treated me to breakfast at Dave’s Diner. In talking with the waitress Barbara said that the medicine is working so well because of the prayers of God’s people. When her cancer was first diagnosed, her blood markers read over 3,000; with only one chemo treatment left to go, those markers are now under 200.

Thanks be to God.

Barbara, who is a tad over 80, said, “John, now that it looks as though I’m going to live a while longer, I need to decide what the Lord wants me to do with the rest of my life”.

No one is too young or too old to think about God’s will.

We talked about her writing other books (her four Along The Way books are at www.bluefishbooks.info ). Or continuing her painting. Or leading retreats and giving lectures

We even talked about her going to Africa to help a missionary couple she has long supported. –why not? Corry Ten Boom was about Barbara’s age when she started out.

We went back to my house and sat in the back garden talking.

We concluded that when you do not know the will of God, you should do the closest thing to it that you do know.

When you do not know the will of God, sometimes it is the will of God that you not know.

When I asked about the seeming absence of God in tough times and the silence of God when we feel we need to hear Him most, Barbara reminded me of how things are in a class room:

The teacher instructs before an exam, and may critique the material afterwards…

But the teacher never talks during the test.

As Barbara left my house, a neighbor walked over to tell me about a police raid in our block last night with six patrol cars and a helicopter overhead—Ever alert as a member of our Neighborhood Watch, I had not noticed a thing. Missed the excitement altogether.

Another neighbor joined us to tell us about Bubba—God bless him. He had an attack last night and stopped breathing for about 20 minutes. He’s on life support and his many children are gathering to decide whether or not to turn off the machines.


I hate that.

The old reprobate was my friend.

Remember the time Bubba and Dolly and I conquered technology with that cell phone? I still laugh about that.

Ours is a strange friendship. I’m a writer and my world revolves around books and reading and writing; Bubba can neither read nor write. But for some strange reason we hit it off and he stops by to talk fairly often. I find it difficult to carry on a conversation with a person who does not read, so I mostly listen and prompt him with questions. We both enjoy our talks.

In the year 2006, I wrote about Bubba and Dolly, his wife, in my February 7th post (200 Minutes), and about Dolly’s death in my June 27th posting (A Pain In The Neck and Listen To Your Heart) in my blog archives.

As my neighbors left, an air conditioning man came in to give me an estimate. He chatted happily about heat panels, kilowatts and spines—things every real man ought to know.

I’m an A/C expert too.

I can tell hot from cold.

And I know part of the thingy is inside the wall, and part of it is outside in the yard.

Sometimes an 18-inch grater snake coils up underneath the part outside—Ha! I’ll bet the A/C expert didn’t know that. But, if we go with his company, he may find out.

By the time the A/C man left, I knew I was not going to get any work done on the book manuscript today. Tried to read a library book but it just did not click. Did a few household chores. Ended up with a small odd block of time, so I killed it browsing porno sites for a while.

Ginny arrived home bearing a request that she and I (as a duty for our being on a Civilian Emergency Response Team) help out in a massive Swine Flu program to vaccinate every person in the Jacksonville metropolitan area—population one million plus.

Having seen the 1918 Spanish Lady graves in Evergreen Cemetery and having written about the 1888 Yellow Jack epidemic, I feel this vaccination project may be an important investment of our energies. Not sure about that, I’ll ask the Lord.

I cringe around groups of people. Just freeze up and shrink.

I think I’d be really good with crowd control—“Alright, you sickies, line up. Anybody steps out of line, I’ll cough on ‘em!”

Loving Christian service is my forte.

Ginny has this huge, enormous, big, massive, thick report she’s preparing for auditors at her office. I advised her to submit it “As Is” with a yellow post-it note on the front cover saying, “I coughed on this report”.

That way the auditors will rubber stamp the report without opening it so she does not have to worry about checking page after page after page of numbers.

Seriously, yesterday a friend who works in a major area hospital told me that she has three Swine Flu—shouldn’t we call this thing Porky?—cases in her intensive care unit. All three are in bad shape and she expects one to die today.

The State of Florida maintains a Weekly Swine Flu Surveillance Report at http://www.doh.state.fl.us/Disease_ctrl/epi/swineflu/Reports/reports.htm#map1; there were seven flu deaths in Jacksonville during August, and 22 down in Dade County.

This is just getting started.

Ginny and I are not sure how we can help in the Porky vaccination program, or if we’re so feeble that we’d just be in the way. God knows.

After dinner, we drove to the grocery story.

I felt so peopled out that I sought solitude in a little park area with benches near the front door, while Ginny shopped. I felt I needed to be alone and quiet for a time to smoke a pipe and recharge my batteries.

Along came nine church people—with cupcakes.

They settled in.

A young man, Lenny, sat on my bench and explained they were on a prayer walk through the neighborhood. He enthusiastically told me about their new congregation, which only formed recently. He graciously invited me to attend their services and worship with them. And he asked me questions about my own background and beliefs. And he listened courteously as I floundered around trying to justify myself.

Their church is called the Riverstone Community Church and they meet in the Five-Points Theatre at 10:30 on Sunday mornings. Their website is at http://riverstonecommunitychurch.org/index.html .

I joined them in open air prayer until Ginny, having finished shopping, rescued me.

I know nothing at all about their church services…

But their cupcakes were sure good.

Got home. Unloaded groceries. Began working. Phone rang—Donald will not be able to come over tomorrow to help me through that Google Books Partners Program; he promises to come Friday. I’m stymied without his help.


NEWS FLASH: This Just In…

My Son, The TV Preacher…

Donald just told me that he’s launched a new video website called Morning Seminary.

When I hung up the phone, I watched it.

It’s a hoot!

First thing when he gets up, he staggers out and talks about the Lord before he’s even had morning coffee…Er, Donald, that is. The Lord has already had His. So, half-asleep, my son explains points of theology that he’s been thinking about.

This is great.

My books partnership on Google can wait. Who reads that stuff anyhow?; Donald’s doing something much more important.

Please go over to Donald’s You-Tube site at http://www.youtube.com/user/dzcowart and leave him a wake-up call comment.

Anyhow, Good night from Donald’s dad.

Two more A/C guys are scheduled to come here to my house tomorrow…I’m worn out…Maybe one of them will see the snake.

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 @ 3:54 AM

Your comments are welcome: 2 comments

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Rapid Response

When my friend Wes treated me to breakfast at Dave’s Diner yesterday, he told me about an unusual incident that happened on his back porch Monday:

His friend, a businessman, had stopped by Wes’ house feeling down.

When Wes asked him what was the matter, his friend said that he desperately needed $2,000 before the end of this week.

“I felt as though the Holy Spirit gave me a shove in the back,” Wes said. “I said the first thing that popped into my mind—‘Lord, You know where that money is, please walk Sam to it’”.

The man’s cell phone rang.

He talked for a few minutes. Wes could only hear one side of the conversation but when he hung up, Wes asked, “Was that your money”?

“Yes, I’m supposed to go pick it up now”.

That’s not quite the way prayer works for me.

Wes also told me about an incident that happened a few years back when he was near broke. He was driving his old blue pickup to help his granddaughter with her after school homework.

He knew the little girl was having trouble with her studies and feeling frustrated but this happened right before a payday and Wes had nothing to give to cheer the kid up.

As he stopped for a red light behind a white pickup, Wes said, “It wasn’t even a real prayer. I just sort of sighed saying, ‘Lord, I sure wish I could take Sandy some flowers”.

The door of the white pickup ahead opened.

A man got out and walked to the back of his white pickup and lifted out a big bunch of marigolds. He walked back to Wes’ truck making motions for Wes to roll down his driver’s side window. He handed the flowers to Wes saying, “Here, give these to your girl”.

As the light changed, the man ran back to his own truck, jumped in, and away he drove leaving Wes dumfounded.


That’s not quite the way prayer works for me.

When I pray, I feel as though the Lord says, “Not now, Cowart. Take a number. Get in line. You’ll be number 87; I’m taking care of number 14 right now. But, don’t worry, I’ll get around to you”.

What’s the difference between Wes’ prayers and mine?

I think it’s a matter of the Lord knowing that I have much more of the blessed virtue of patience than Wes has.

That's what I tell myself anyhow.

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 @ 4:54 AM

Your comments are welcome: 3 comments

Monday, September 21, 2009

Was His True Love's Name Writ In Mud?

Got a bad scare Friday.

After Ginny left the house for work, I continued work on that book I’m writing about finding and doing the will of God.

About 9 o’clock the air conditioner repairman, Kyle, arrived to fix our broken unit.

I opened all the house doors and unlocked the back gate so he could get to the inside cooler, the outside unit and have access to the tools in his truck.

When he began work, his cell phone rang and he began an extended conversation with someone while he unscrewed panels from our air conditioner. Kyle had worked on our system a couple of months ago and impressed me with his skill and efficiency.

Since he was occupied with his task, I left him to it and returned to work on my manuscript.

So far, my manuscript runs about 300 pages—mostly of notes and small sections I’ve pre-written over the years. So my work at the moment involves a lot of cutting, pasting, and shifting bits of text here and there.

It’s like assembling a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle of short snippets of writing into a coherent flow of ideas. It requires focus.

I focused.

One of my chapters involves various ways people in the past have tried to discern divine guidance for their lives.

For instance, Roger Lowe, an apprentice shopkeeper in Ashton-in-Makerfield, Lancashire, kept a diary between the years 1663 and 1674. A devout Puritan, Lowe, prayed about finding a suitable wife. He courted a young lady named Mary Naylor in an on-again/off-again relationship.

Was she The One?.

On September 24, 1663, a rainy day, he visited Mary. As he walked home, he leaped over a puddle and splashed mud on his clothes.

“When I came home,” Lowe wrote, “There was a direct N and halfe of an M providentially made upon my breeches, plaine to view in any man’s sight made of mire with (my) leapeing”

A sign from God?

The letters M and N spelled out in mud on the seat of his pants.

What else could it mean but Mary Naylor?

“I looked upon it to be from Providence, and fortold somethinge in my aprehension. The smallest of God’s providences should not be past by without observation,” Lowe wrote.

Time went by.

Problems arose.

Roger felt an interest in other girls; Mary attracted the attention of other young men.

On May 11, 1664, Roger records the breakup between him and Mary Naylor—M.N.

He went to her father’s house to visit. “He was from home and I spoke Roughly to Mary and she seemed to be very effectionate, but I little matered it. I cald her a false dissembleinge harted person. She tooke it heinously”.

Later Roger married a young woman by the name of Emma Potter—his diary refers to her by the affectionate diminutive—Emm.

Makes you think, doesn’t it?

M…. humm.

Of course God is not limited. He can direct and guide us by any means He chooses, but I suspect, like Roger Lowe, we often mis-read the signs or see signs where there aren’t any.

In one of the conversations in the Book of Job, Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, said,

“God is greater than man. Why dost thou strive against Him? for He giveth not account of any of His matters.

“For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not.

“In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; Then He openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, That He may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man. He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword”.

As I focused on cutting, pasting, inserting files into the manuscript body, re-writing snippets, moving blocks of text and…

Suddenly there was a man standing at my elbow!

Scared the breath out of me!

Who the hell was this and how did he get into …

Oh, it was Kyle, the air condition man.

I’d forgotten he was in the house.

I live in my own little world when I’m working.

I’d completely forgotten he was here.

Apparently he’d walked through the room several times going back and forth to his truck and I just had not noticed.

He’d come back in to give me the repair bill.

Now, that was a real scare!

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 @ 8:09 AM

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Friday, September 18, 2009

If The Shoe Fits...

Bad day Thursday!

Our air conditioner died. Thermostat in the hall read 85 degrees. Higher in the living room and kitchen.

I had all sorts of trouble trying to upload my book files to Google Books. The server kept going down. I kept trying to get the job done. Finally my account showed 23 books in it.

Trouble is, I only uploaded 21 books!

All this followed a bad night of disturbing dreams, cramped legs, raging thirst—that’s four nights running of this stuff.

And the receipt I cooked for dinner turned out bland and over-cooked.

All this stuff frustrated me.

I fumed.

Where is the loving Christ who is supposed to be with me, even on days like this?

On vacation? Gone fishing? Standing to the side like some sadist chuckling at a bug stuck on fly paper?

Then I tried to tie my shoes. Couldn’t do it; my arthritis hurt so bad I couldn’t reach my own feet. (not that I’m that fat).

Where is God when I can’t tie my shoes?

Very present Help in a time of trouble, the Scripture says.

Does than mean only Big Trouble? A hurricane, nuclear attack, IRS audit?

Do I have to ride out little stuff on my own?

When He said, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” does that mean only for major events?

Do I have to tie my shoes on my own?


I’m the father of six children, all grown now, but I remember watching them learn to tie shoes. I recall how Freddy’s tongue would stick out as he concentrated intently on this insurmountable task. I remember how frustrated he would get trying to master this skill.

And what did I, a loving father, do?

I stood there and watched him deal with it.

I did not intervene.

That’s what dad’s do.

There’s a line in an old hymn that that I recalled as I struggled with Google and broke air conditioner and spoiled dinner and stiff-necked shoes. And the absence of God from my bad day…

And behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadows,
Keeping watch above His own”.

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 @ 8:54 AM

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

An Old Conversation

Tuesday, as I prowled through my files gathering materials for the book I’m writing about finding and doing the will of God, I came across this undated entry from one of my old diaries. As best I can tell this conversation between Ginny and me took place back in the mid-1980s:

We enjoyed a long conversation about God's will and our own life; she contributed a number of excellent ideas which clarify matters for me somewhat. I am still missing some key element which I can't put my finger on.

There appear to be three levels related to God's will.

(1). Some events which we tend to call "natural" are revealed in Scripture to be God's will. Things like earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, freezes, volcanic eruptions—things over which mankind has no control, are brought about by the will of God. Included in this area are conception and death. Psalm 29 declares that the Voice of The Lord causes each of the above:


Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty,

Give unto the LORD glory and strength.

Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name;

Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

The voice of the LORD is upon the waters:

The God of glory thundereth:

The LORD is upon many waters.

The voice of the LORD is powerful;

The voice of the LORD is full of majesty.

The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars;

Yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.

He maketh them also to skip like a calf;

Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.

The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire.

The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness;

The LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh.

The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve,

And discovereth the forests:

And in his temple doth every one speak of his glory.

The LORD sitteth upon the flood;

Yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever.

The LORD will give strength unto his people;

The LORD will bless his people with peace.

Man has no control over most of the above. We can encourage conception with fertility drugs and such but we can not cause it if it's is not there; the creation of life is solely in the hand of God.

Natural death and the length of life is also in God's hand. Again, man is able to cut short life by murder or suicide, but death is inevitable and under the control of God. The life-extending techniques of modern medicine can not prolong life beyond a certain point and most of these techniques would have been considered torturing a victim in former ages (Look what happened to our friend Joel).

(2). The general will of God is manifest in His revealed moral law. This refers to the will of God for all men everywhere. Thou shalt not steal, murder, commit adultery, lie—moral commands incumbent on all human behavior. For us, these thing boil down to a simple matter of obedience. When I am tempted to steal something, a choice confronts me. I know better, but I am going to do it anyhow; or this is wrong and I am not going to take that item. While I may try to circumnavigate the issue and justify my behavior (I didn't really love Evelyn, my first wife, or she me, and we should never have gotten married in the first place). Nevertheless, I know the standard, and deep down I know when I offend against it.

(3). The third level related to me and to God's will falls into the category of my individual choices in matters where there is no revelation of God's will. Most of our questions and mental turmoil falls into this area. Should I buy a Ford or a Chevy? Marry Joe or Bill? Become a plumber or a preacher? Live in Florida or New Jersey? Go to Yale or Harvard? Such questions concern us most.

Now some Christians believe that God's will and plan for our lives is so detailed that He has a definite preference between my buying a Ford or a Chevy. "God has a wonderful plan for your life," these people say. They cite Scripture to the effect that the very hairs of my head are numbered and that God knows every sparrow that falls, therefore, if God has an interest in hair and birds, He must also have a vested interest in whether I order chocolate or vanilla. And, If I pray and seek His will, He will somehow show me whether to marry Betty or Veronica, etc.

Other Christians believe that God's detailed will for an individual stopped with the revelation of the moral law, that God has given us common sense as well as internal interests and preferences and therefore it is up to us to chose as we wish and take the consequences of our choices.

If I like vanilla and choose vanilla, that choice is perfectly ok with God.

Whether I chose to be a plumber or a preacher is of no great concern to God as long as I am an honest plumber living for Him and worshiping Him there beneath the house where nobody but Him can see me. Or I can be a preacher as long as I preach His word honestly and care for my congregation with love. My living for Him is His concern, not the minor details of how I earn that living.

If I am at Harvard, live for Christ there; If I'm accepted at Yale, then I'm to live for Christ at Yale. There is no divine cheering session saying, "Go Gators, Go!" Neither Florida State nor the University of Florida have a lock on the divine will. No voice from Heaven tells a prospective student to go to one or the other.

Does the will of God for us ever change?


Ginny used the illustration of a person who is cold and wears a sweater and a coat and a blanket and comes inside to a room where a fire blazes in the fireplace.

She said that, at the door, she may shrug the blanket off her shoulders. As she moves closer to the fire, she takes off her coat. Then the sweater comes off. As the warmth prevails, the lady may end up stark naked on the bearskin rug toasting in front of the fire. Ginny used this example to show that the closer we move to God's warmth, the less we are concerned about things which were once important to us.

Outside, we clutch the blanket, the coat, the sweater tight around us. Our very survival may depend on whether or not we have a coat. But as we mover closer to God, these things drop away naturally, almost unnoticed. Therefore, while at some point in our life, choosing a nursery for the kids was the most important thing in our minds, now that is of no concern at all. Such decisions are only of temporary importance.

At an airport, Ginny said, the time to be concerned about checking your baggage and whether or not you will get a window seat or who will sit next to you on the flight, is not when the plane is landing; then, the important thing is Who will met you at your destination.

She also reminded me of the C.S. Lewis Narnia story Voyage of the Dawn Treader in which Eustace, as a dragon, tried and tried to scratch off his scales and only succeeded in flaking off a few which grew right back. Then Aslan ripped him open and skinned him to restore him to humanity.

All Eustace could do was lay there, belly exposed, and submit to the treatment.

That is the hardest posture to maintain. We want to up and do, to scratch and claw, to bring about the desired results immediately. God's will is often that we be still and know that He is indeed God.

Ginny said, we need to wait and pray with our bellies exposed...

We talked a whole lot more about such things.

We never finish talking together.

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 @ 4:48 AM

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Watch This Spot


I miss out on all the good stuff in our neighborhood.

In all the years Ginny and I have been active in Neighborhood Watch I’ve only called the cops once.

That was a few years back when I witnessed a young man climbing in the back window of a nearby house. I called 911 to report a break-in in progress and two patrol cars came immediately. The patrolmen apprehended the suspect youth.

Turns out that he lived in that house. But he’s snuck out to visit some girl and was trying to creep back in without waking his parents when I saw him.

Trouble in the camp!

I bring this up because of a phone call I received Monday concerning our Neighborhood Watch… But I’ll come back to that call in a minute.

First, I want to digress to our week just past.

Back on Labor Day Ginny fell sick. Her blood sugar fluctuated all over the place. Unpleasant symptoms accompanied that. And my poor beauty felt so lethargic that she could not even hold up a book to read for a week. When she was able to read, she chose Miss Pickerel Goes To Mars, a child’s book Ginny first read when she was nine or ten years old. Last week she took comfort going back to her childhood favorite.

While she was down, her normal home duties fell on me. I had not realized how much she does around here besides her work at her office. I had to deal with banking, and the insurance company and grocery shopping as well as nurse her with ice/hot bandages and chicken soup.

She tried to go to work Thursday, but got too sick at the office and had to come home. But by Sunday she felt better, her blood sugar stabilized and Monday she returned to work.

Our youngest son, Donald, entered seminary last week to study for the ministry. We took him out to lunch Sunday afternoon to hear all about it.

He’s taking a systematic theology course and an introduction to the Old Testament class.

His professor began class by talking about allegory and typology—the school of thought that sees a foreshadowing of New Testament events in the Old Testament.

For instance, the professor used the example of the Israelites passing through the Red Sea as a type foreshadowing baptism.

Donald raised his hand saying, “Then none of God’s people got baptized. Only the Egyptian army got immersed. The Israelites never even got wet”.

Yep. My boy’s going to go far in that seminary.

Then Ginny got to telling Donald and teasing me about that pool timer (see my Sept. 8th posting, “And Time Shall Be No More”).

The two of them laughed at me.

I told Ginny, “I liked you better when you were too sick to talk”.

We all laughed so hard I spilled my tea.

Donald’s heart seems inclined toward work in a rescue mission among the bums. When he was still in high school, one summer he won a scholarship in physics to work at the Los Alamos Nuclear facility in New Mexico for six weeks; when he returned to Jacksonville—without having blown up the world—he moved into the Circle Of Love mission to serve 24/7 for six weeks at their soup kitchen in a Northwest Jacksonville slum.

My son impresses me.

He’s real.

Anyhow, Ginny’s back to work now, Donald’s tormenting seminary professors, and I mowed the grass today before I got that Neighborhood Watch phone call.

The caller told me all about a problem house in the area. There are 57 houses in our cul de sac and I can see this one from my living room.

It seems that some young people, renters or maybe just squatters, have moved into that building and live an alternate lifestyle.

Very alternate!

The phone caller explained how several folks have complained to the cops, to the City Counsel, to the Zoning Board, and to the Code Enforcement Agency.

Rats in the offending yard is one major problem.

The caller sent me e-mail copies of correspondence with the various agencies and gave me a blow-by-blow account of political actions taken.

Then the caller casually mentioned the two young women who’ve been sunbathing naked on the roof of the house in question.

I looked out the living room window.

No one up there.

“Why did you call me about all this stupid political stuff and not call me about the girls on the roof naked?”.

“I didn’t think—you being religious and all—that you’d be interested,” she said.

Rats! Once again I suffer for my Christian faith.

I never get to see any of the good stuff that goes on in my own neighborhood.

Where are my binoculars?

That might be a tufted titmouse on that branch.

I’m going to sit here and bird watch for a while.

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 @ 6:06 AM

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Objective Faith

A Christian’s car can get a flat tire.

A Christian can get a toothache.

A Christian can go as crazy as an outhouse rat.

A Christian can feel blue, down, weary, depressed.

Case in point—my latest entry last Saturday about “Worthless Work” reveals me at a low state, down, sad, discouraged, wallowing in self-pity.

When I wrote that I questioned in my mind whether or not I should post it because I might scare off people on the outskirts of faith who were looking for some ray of bright hope. Knowing that honey attracts more flies than the stuff I wallowed in, I wondered if I should fake some happy thoughts I rarely feel.

After all, aren’t Christians supposed to be light and salt and joyous?

That ain’t me.

My internal temperament inclines toward the morose.

Neither light nor joy play a big part in my life—although my vocabulary does tend to get salty at times.

What I’m getting at here is honesty.

Every person at times feels low down, sad and blue. Angst grips us all.

To paraphrase Saint Paul, There has no temptation or trouble or problem taken hold on John Cowart that is not the common lot of all men. John is not unique (a bit strange maybe, but not unique). Therefore, If I reveal where I really am and where I’m coming from, and what I worry about, and how I feel—that honest record of my pathetic spiritual life may strike a cord in readers and help them know they are not alone.

So, when I reveal that I am down, morose, discouraged and lower than whale shit, does that mean I am not a real Christian? That Christianity does not work?

The thing is there are two elements to Christian.

One is the subjective, how it makes you feel. This element focuses on spiritual experiences. Happy, happy, happy. Feeling faith becomes addictive. I want to repeat things that make me feel warm fuzzy.

God is good and I want Him to be gooder.

I expect Him to do miracles, make me prosperous, and happy, healthy and wise.

And when He doesn’t, I pretend He does. I lie about my deeper-than-yours experiences. I position myself as a Prayer Warrior, a Healer, a Miracle Worker.

I attribute to God things God has not done.

Oh yes, Christians can lie.

On the other hand, there is objective faith. Little feeling is involved. I mean, who spasms with an orgasm over historical fact?

And historic fact forms the basis of Christian faith.

Jesus Christ rose from the dead because He is God come in the flesh.

Well-attested historic fact.

The only reason to believe the Gospel is because it’s true. Not because it gives warm fuzzies, though it may. Not because many Christians are nice people, though some may be. Not because of any feeling but because of fact.

Therefore, I don’t fear when my life seems empty and meaningless and when my work appears futile. I don’t fear because regardless of how I feel at any given moment, the fact remains that Jesus Christ is our risen Lord.

God came in human form on a rescue mission. Born of a Virgin, while totally God and upholding all things by the word of His power, He became totally man. He healed the sick. He taught the ignorant. He fed the hungry—whatever was wrong, Jesus made it right. And we tortured Him to death, nailed the Rascal down hand and foot, for His trouble because men love darkness rather than light.

You can kill the living but you can’t kill Life. Under His own steam Jesus returned to the living with nail prints still in His body. Neat, as you’d expect God to be, Jesus folded up the grave clothes and put them to the side.

Then He went fishing.

Unpredictable, as you’d expect God to be.

He enjoyed a cookout on the beach with His buddies. And when one asked about another man’s experience, Jesus said, “What is that to thee? Follow thou Me”.

Later, He temporarily went back to where He’d come from in the first place

Historic event. Not feeling.

So, what advantage is there to believing in Christ if as a Christian we still get flat tires, toothaches, discouragement, and sad days?


The only reason to believe the Gospel is because it’s true.

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 @ 3:31 AM

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Worthless Work

Ginny returned to her office Thursday—she only lasted there till noon then fell ill again and had to return home. I’ve nursed her, after my clumsy fashion, since then. She finally decided that if she is not better by Monday, she’ll consent to seeing her doctor.


We Cowarts tough it out.

Thursday also, Jennifer, Patricia, Rex, and Terry visited me. I took the girls to brunch at Dave’s Diner and we got back home just as Ginny, Rex, and then Terry arrived.

The group crowded in our living room discussing air conditioner repair, wedding plans for Patricia, ministry, family stuff, and the meaning of work.

The question of whether or not my writing constitutes work or goofing off with a hobby arose.

In our Southern tradition, unless a man has a shovel in his hand, what he’s doing is not work; work pays money and a real man supports his family by the sweat of his brow.

Since my writing generates so little cash income and is subsidize by Ginny’s income and our children’s contributions, I do not qualify as a working man.

I feel like crap.

The workman is worthy of his hire. And since our society defines success in terms of cash income, I feel I am not a workman and therefore not worthy.

No hire given means no work done.

Producing 22 books and seeing several foreign translations come out over the past 35 years should leave me with some sense of accomplishment. But I feel I’ve labored under false colors, that my stuff is just typing words on air.

Lots of readers and editors seem to like my writing—so long as they get it free. Hardly anyone feels it’s worth paying for.

Career-wise, I’d have done better if I’d spent the last 35 years collecting stamps, playing golf, flying kites, going fishing. These activities would cost a whole lot less than writing and publishing my books; and these activities would have produced just as much income to support my family.

I’ve spent my life pissing against the wind.

I also feel guilty that so much of what I’ve done recently is clerical stuff, self promotion and rehashing stuff I wrote years ago.

Just feeling weary today.

Like most days.

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 @ 8:39 AM

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cowart Family Matters

Lots going on in my family:

First off, Ginny fell ghastly sick on Labor Day evening as we drove home from our daughter Eve’s house warming party.

I nursed Ginny as best I could over the next couple of days. That meant staying awake close to 24 hours at times and ordering in a lot of Chinese carryout food (which she couldn’t eat anyhow) and brewing chicken soup for her, and cleaning things up a bit.

Heart attack was the first thing I figured and tried to talk her into letting me call rescue or drive her to the emergency room, but she’s a Cowart. She wanted to tough it through. I’m the same way. So I worried over he a lot and kept checking to see if she were still breathing. She says I’m a pset.

As best we can figure, she’s suffered a reaction to one of her diabetes medicines. But she is now recovered and returned to work this morning. It was hairy there for a while. I made many unnecessary mental funeral arrangements.

I always do that when she’s down sick, or even five minutes late getting home from work.

You know me, for such a morbid cuss, I’m always looking on the bright side of things.

In other family news: Donald and Helen were too sick with flu to attend their sister’s party. So was Clint. They stayed home; he stayed in Orlando.

Donald enters seminary next Saturday to begin studies to become a minister in the Anglican Communion. A huge step for him to move from computer network administrator to preacher.

Eve’s party proved a resounding success. Delightful. It’s so good to see our children getting along together so well. Eve’s party combined showing off the new apartment she and Mark just moved into. The party was also to celebrate his birthday—and Patricia’s. He’s an attorney and our son-in-law; Patricia, our youngest, is a lab technician. Both have September birthdays.

Eve, a librarian, is concerned about changes the City Counsel is making in library budgets. Her husband, Mark,. still relishes his triumphs in D.C. last month.

Jennifer, our eldest, recently earned Best Seller status for her E-Bay business. She gets a blue ribbon by each of her postings showing efficiency in reliability, good customer service, and prompt shipping policies.

Patricia’s big news is that she and Clint have set a date, January 1st, for their wedding. She bubbles about gowns, sites for the ceremony and reception. I have never seen her looking better; she’s positively elegant in poise, beauty, and maturity. She showed off her heirloom engagement ring given her by Clint’s aunt who wore it during her own 35 years of happy marriage and wanted to with Clint and Patricia the same joys she had known.

I’m sure I’ll be posting more about wedding plans as they careen toward us.

My own big news is that on Labor Day, Google posted nine of the books I’ve written or edited in the Google Books Partner Program. I’ve written a lot about my struggles to get onboard that recently. I’m inordinately proud of this accomplishment not only because of the fine presentation of my books, but also because of how I navigated a minefield of computer stuff successfully—almost.

I uploaded 22 of my books to Google, but only nine are listed so far. I did them all the same way so I wonder what the holdup is with my other books??? I’m scared to ask. They might want me to do that spreadsheet thing all over again and I don’t think I can stand it.

My friend Barbara White just called. Her oncologist’s tests indicate the chemotherapy is working. Her blood markers for cancer have dropped from close to 4,000 when she started treatment to only 104 today! Thanks be to God.

While my poor wife lay sick abed Tuesday too sick to eat, I went off to breakfast at Dave’s Dinner with my friend Wes. We talked about God’s self-interest, anger, and love. Wes still deeply grieves for his 17-year-old granddaughter who died in 2006 (see my postings for September 15, 2006 and October 14, 2006 ).

Though Wes aches terribly, he tenaciously holds on to his faith in God’s character.

God’s character is all any of us have to hold onto. Personal accomplishments, blood markers, budget worries, wedding plans, annoying illness, tragic death, ordinary daily activities—God’s character is all any of us have to hold onto.

Clinging to anything less than Him, is clutching at straws thinking they will keep us afloat.

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 @ 9:42 AM

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

And Time Shall Be No More

The timer on our pool pump broke.

It would not turn on. It would not turn off.

I wanted one that would turn on and turn off.

So I drove to Home Depot and I bought a new one.

A digital one.

It should turn on. It should turn off.


Opening the instructions I saw I needed to set the present time by pushing a Mode button, then a clock button. But first I needed to remove a plastic tab which separates the two lithium batteries. So I unscrewed the battery housing and pulled the red tab as per the instruction sheet.


One little battery jumped out and ran screaming across the yard. It yelled, “You’ll never take me alive” as it dove into a pile of leaves around the pump housing.

I could not see it. I got down on hands and knees to search… what’s that in my hair? A spider web. And a spider. A black spider with a red hourglass mark. A black widow spider. Two black widow spiders… There’s another one. And another.

I stood up and prayed, “Lord, please help me see that battery”.

And a Voice I hear falling on mine ear saying softly, “Cowart, you idiot, you’re standing on it”.

Moved my foot. There it was. “Thanks, Lord”.

Put it in the battery housing and screwed the plate back in place.

To set the clock you have to hold the Prog button in while inserting a wire through a tiny hole in the front of the timer and it should flash 12.

It didn’t. It flashed 1,212…. Wrong mode. Pushed the Mode button and it still flashed 1,212. Close enough. All I want it to do is turn on and off…. But first you have to set the year, month and day. Hit the Mode button, turn the dial—and I get the year 2112, The Space Odyssey.

I read the instructions again and they tell me—and this is a real quote. Really, I’m not kidding you, this is what it said—“Digital timer switches at incorrect times. The Astronomic and exact switching times are in conflict. Complete the steps for setting the Time and Date, then temporarily change the date to June 21st”.

Isn’t that the date Druids gather at Stonehenge?

It has something to do with Daylight Savings Time.


I did that. Then the instruction sheet tells me I must enter which state of the United States where I live. I entered Florida. Then it says I must give my exact location in the state by pressing the Prog button and the Mode button and turning the dial till I arrive at North. But that is not enough; I have to keep fiddling till it also says East. Then the display screen says I have to enter the exact times for sunrise and sunset…

Could I make this up?

The exact times for sunrise and sunset, Dawn and Dusk…

So I punched buttons and dialed dials and the display screen went back to 1,212 and I had to start over because the display screen asked me for the DOW! Really, It does!

I have no idea what the DOW is this week; I think the Stock Market is closed for the Labor Day holiday…

Thanks Be To God, Ginny arrived. She’s an accountant. She should know what the DOW is…

She did.

She said that in digital language DOW means Day Of The Week.


She also informed me that the reason I kept getting the year 2112 and the time of 12:12 is that the clever people who designed this timer pasted a clear plastic tape over the display screen and on that clear plastic tape are printed words and numbers to make it look like the display is turned on when it is not. So all the numbers and stuff I was seeing were doubled …

Nobody ever told me that.

I’d been trying to get the numbers permanently printed on that clear plastic tape to change! I thought they were real numbers on the display screen.

No wonder the Druids told times and dates with big rocks.

They were smarter than me.

Now, I’m ready to tell the timer to turn on and turn off… Not so fast. The instruction sheet says, even without the clear plastic tape with printed numbers over the screen, “You may program the digital timer for up to 28 events”.

“Press the Prog button to view the first event screen. If all programming has been cleared, the timer will display SKIP above the event display”.

Event One means On.

Event Two means off.

I have no idea what the other 26 events will do… How many of those big stones are there in the Stonehenge circle anyhow?.

Now, finally my timer will turn on. My timer will turn off.

John Cowart, King Of Geriatric Geeks, once again has conquered technology.

In the Bible, in the Apostle John’s vision of the last days, he says, “The angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And sware by Him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer”.

There’s a reason for that.

God has the universe on a timer.

It’s still ticking.

For now.

But you and I will spend all eternity… Somewhere.

Now is the accepted time. Today is the day for salvation.

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 @ 1:15 AM

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Saturday, September 05, 2009

A Book Of Chocolate

There’s a chocolate bar buried on top of the world.

When Sir Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay climbed the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest, in 1953, Norgay buried a chocolate bar in the snow as an offering to the spirit of the mountain.

I learned this bit of trivia while reading the book Chocolate: History, Culture, and Heritage edited by Louis Evan Grivetti and Howard-Yana Shapiro (John Wiley & Sons Inc., Hoboken, N.J. © 2009).

I’ve mentioned before how on my weekly library trips I try to pick up at least one book of serious reading in addition to my normal diet of shoot-‘em-up-bang-bang mysteries. Thus, recently I’ve read a book about an 1878 bank robbery in New York; a book about the last days of the Roman Empire; one about a U.S. Army chaplain in Iraq; and one about building a space ship in your backyard.

This reading discipline is supposed to sharpen my mind.

Can’t say that it’s working.

Anyhow, the editors of Chocolate recruited over 110 researchers from 30 countries who worked 11 years to produce the 56 chapters of this book telling everything there is to tell about chocolate.

The 975-page book is printed on high-gloss paper and weighs more than your college physics textbook did; and in places this book reads just as smoothly.

Yet I found parts fascinating.

When the Spanish arrived in the New World, the natives offered them chocolate. The Conquistadors regarded it as a treasure—sort of.

By the year 1571, the Inquisition in the New World began examining sinners about their use of chocolate. This Chocolate book examines 21 trials and provides transcripts of testimonies involving chocolate and witchcraft.

Did I mention that this book is thoroughly documented with illustrations, extensive footnotes and bibliographies for each chapter?

I confess I did not read all 975 pages; I zeroed in on portions I found most interesting.

I learned a bit about the travels of chocolate to the South Pole with the Scott and Shackleton expeditions; and about the use of chocolate on New Bedford sailing ships as they hunted sperm whale; and about an 1779 English law that banished chocolate smugglers to a penal colony for life.

I learned about how a 1641 Spanish galleon, damaged in a hurricane, landed at St. Augustine, Florida, just a few miles from where I live. To save his ship in the storm, the captain had thrown overboard rigging, cannon, and cargo to lighten his dismasted ship. But he saved the chocolate.

After months of bickering between merchants, and after several letters back and forth to the king of Spain, the chocolate was auctioned to people in St. Augustine. The transaction was so important that a detailed inventory was kept of the 222 citizens who could afford to buy that chocolate. That inventory provides historians with information about St. Augustine’s colonial population.

I also learned about medicinal properties of chocolate, which has been used to treat everything from hangover to smallpox.

The Chocolate book’s chapter about the 1764 Smallpox epidemic in Boston contains an interesting prayer that appeared in the June 18th Boston Gazzette newspaper:

O Strengthen and support me during this alarming Trial; soften the Pains and abate the Violence of the Disorder; Let Thy good spirit suggest the most proper Means for my Preservation and Recovery…

But, O Lord, while I am preparing my mortal Part for this dreaded Trial, let me not neglect to prepare my Soul for Eternity. The utmost I can hope from Success in this Pursuit is to prolong my live, perhaps for a few transient Years; let me not fail then to make Provision for that immortal State which will continue when Time shall be no more, beyond the Reach of Disaster or Casualty…

O grant all this, and whatever else is needful for me through Jesus Christ our Lord! AMEN.

Considering that a September 1st report released by the Florida Department of Health says that today one out of every 123 men in Florida now has HIV/AIDS, it might be a good idea for newspapers to begin printing such prayers again.

Another thing the Chocolate book also taught me was about chocolate trade cards, a fad which swept the world of the 1800s. When you bought chocolate in the store, your package came with colorful cards, lithographs depicting cute kids, reclining ladies, Dutch windmills, World’s Fair exhibits, bright birds—people bought, traded, collected and hung these cards in their parlors. Beautiful things!

“A substantial body of chocolate trade cards survives today documenting the assertive marketing strategy of foreign and domestic producers alike,” one author says. “These cards may have survived because of their high production numbers, or because the popular sentiments they expressed appealed to customers. But they may have been saved simply because people like chocolate”.

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 @ 5:03 AM

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

“Don’t Let” Prayers—Thoughts For Felisol

The other night after Ginny and I visited the library, we sat in the park across the street talking and she began laughing. “I prayed the most ridiculous thing in the library,” she said.

“I was looking for a specific book and as I walked along all those yards and yards of shelves, I prayed, “Dear Lord, don’t let my book be on a bottom shelf because my knees feel so stiff that if I get down there I won’t be able to stand back up again’”.

We laughed about the fact that the prayers of us old folks are different from the prayers of young people.

But, are they?

Doesn’t everyone pray “Don’t let” prayers?

Dear Lord, don’t let me run out of gas before I get to the station.

Dear Lord, don’t let the check I wrote get to the bank before my deposit clears.

Dear Lord, my teenager is driving again tonight. Please don’t let her get hurt or hurt anybody else.

Dear Lord, please don’t let that be the last Pamper in the package!

Dear Lord, don’t let the biopsy show cancer.

Dear Lord, don’t let me be lead astray.

Deal Lord, please don’t let the bus leave till I get to the stop.

Dear Lord, don’t let her give us that test on intransitive verbs today. I haven’t studied for it.

Deal Lord, don’t let the kids wake up tonight of all nights; I’ve already poured the wine and put on the mood music. Keep ‘em asleep. Keep ‘em asleep. Please keep ‘em asleep! Don’t ‘em wake up!

Dear Lord, don’t let…

When Ginny and I got home from the library last night, I found an e-mail question from Felisol, a lady in Norway who takes magnificent photos of ancient churches. She said:

DEar John C,

I have a question, passed to me yesterday, by my girl friend for 55 years.

"How come we have to pray lead us not into temptation. Can GOd willfully do that to his beloved children. Why do we have to pray it over and over again in Our Lord's Prayer?"

I think it kind of touches your mosquito answer, but not entirely. Problem is, my friend she's in great pain, she's lived a life of a tormented saint, by just now I feel I have to come up with an answer, I do not posses.

I'm turning to you, and will return, to see if you can help me.

From Felisol

I’m so sorry the unnamed lady is in pain, feeling tormented, and troubled about that phrase from the Lord’s Prayer. Sounds as though she has a heavy load to carry. I’m glad she has Felisol for a friend to care about her.

I asked Felisol for a little time to think about this.

I’m the worse person on earth to ask about temptation. I doubt if I’ve ever been tempted to do anything that I haven’t eventually done it. So I’m hardly qualified to address this question, but I’m the one she asked, so here goes:

First, God never tempts us to do evil.

The Apostle James said, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither he tempteth any man. But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed”.

So, what does the Lord’s Prayer actually say:

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Whenever I’m interested in some problem concerning the Scripture, I turn to the best Bible study tool I know of—the common ordinary dictionary on the corner of my desk. What is the definition of temptation?

The first of several definitions my dictionary lists is test—an adversity, affliction, trouble: sent by God and serving to test or prove one's character, faith, or holiness.

In that light, when I beg God “don’t let me be tempted”, I’m admitting my utter weakness. I don’t think I can stand being tested. I think I’ll fail the test.

Sometimes God lets me avoid the test; sometimes He doesn’t.

Testing me shows God nothing He didn’t already know. He is, after all, omniscient. So, if the test does not prove anything to God, what’s the purpose of it?

It proves something to me.

It shows me that in my weakness, I can function in His strength.

Paul said, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as in common to man: but God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it”.

Another definition of temptation my dictionary offers is: A cause or occasion of enticement.

I think of Mrs. Job.

Mrs. Job lost her children; Mr. Job lost those same children.

Mrs. Job lost cattle; Mr. Job lost those same cows.

Mrs. Job lost camels, crops, mules, donkeys, home, security—she lost everything that Job lost.

Both suffered alike, God sent their troubles, through the devil, as a testing, as an occasion to react.

Job said, Shall we receive good at the hand of the Lord and not the evil?

Mrs. Job yelled at him, Curse God and die!

She was in no mood for philosophy or positive thinking; she’d lost her children and she stood for no pious nonsense from the old man or his buddies.

However, notice that at the end of the Book of Job, she received the same rewards that he did.

James said, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him”.


That’s hard for me to see. And Mrs. Job didn’t see much joy in the situation ether. She endured their temptation in an altogether different manner from her husband, but when all was said and done, “In all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job; and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren”.

Mrs. Job’s daughters, her pride and joy after all the tribulation, fairest in the land, equal to their brothers—a reward for having endured temptation.

I’ll bet Mrs. Job beamed.

Concerning temptation my dictionary also says:

To lead astray from one’s true course; Tempt implies the presenting of an attraction so strong that it overcomes the restraints of conscience or better judgment. Seduce implies a leading astray by persuasion or false promises. Lure an inducement to pleasure or gain; a decoy for attracting animals to capture, an artificial bait used for catching fish.

I think one reason we are to beg God to don’t let us be tempted is because we never know what life is bringing at us next.

In the Gethsemane, the olive garden of prayer, Jesus “said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation”.


Peaceful garden of prayer in the cool of the evening.

Good place for a nap.

What could happen?

And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

And when he rose up from prayer and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow. And said unto them, Why sleep ye? Rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him.

Yes, we can not foresee the future. A truck may be rounding the corner. The ringing phone may be the State Lottery Board letting you know you’ve won millions, or the State Highway Patrol regretting to inform you about the accident.

I think that when I pray “Lead me not into temptation” I’m acknowledging my position and God’s. I appear before His majesty as a beggar, a supplicant, powerless, weak, afraid of being diverted from my purpose in life, leery of being led astray, of screwing up, of falling for false promises. I admit I am gullible and that I don’t think I can take any more. I admit I’m attracted to evil, that my judgment is skewed , that my heart is weak.

Thus I pray, “Dear Lord, don’t let me be tempted”.

My dictionary further relates temptation to “the desire to have or do something that you know you should avoid; bait: something used to lure fish or other animals into danger so they can be trapped or killed”.

Sportsmen regard my home state, Florida, as the fishing capital of the world. Our waters abound in trout, red bass, large-mouth bass, marlin, cobia, king fish…

Sport fishermen tempt the fish with lures, an artificial bait with treble hooks to snag the fish, drag him from the water, let him flap out his life on the deck, filet him to devour, or skin him to stuff as a trophy.

When I pray “lead me not into temptation”, I’m praying that I will recognize the false promise of the many lures in the water.

I’m praying, “Dear Lord, don’t let me take the bait”.

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 @ 4:36 AM

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

My Thoughts On Theodicy And Mosquitoes

In April, 1915, a mosquito bit poet Rupert Brooke.

Brooke—widely acclaimed as the handsomest man in the world—died of septicemia when that mosquito bite became infected.

Mosquitoes will also bite the ugliest man you’ve ever seen, the most beautiful woman, the babe in the cradle, Mother Teresa, Adolph Hitler, Billy Graham, President Obama, Attila the Hun, and they’d bite Bart Simpson if he were not a cartoon character.

A mosquito buzzed around my own head Sunday as I vacuumed out pool thinking about theodicy. Of course I didn’t know that’s what I was thinking about; I had to look the word up.

Theodicy refers to that branch of theology attempting to reconcile the existence of evil and suffering with belief in an all-powerful, loving God.

How can a God who loves us, let terrible things happen to us?

Can’t He do something about it? Have I misread His nature? Is He sadistic tormenting people and watching them squirm? Is He powerless to stop the pain? Does He just not give a damn?

Just what’s going on here?

The mosquito gave me a clue.

Not an answer, just a clue.

I have two friends who feel comfortable with their own answers to this problem.

One quotes Scripture saying, that all humanity rebels against God and all of us are under sin “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one… All have sinned and come short of the glory of God”.

According to his view every last one of us deserves misery in this world and eternal damnation in the next.

He feels that the grace of God is shown in that God selects some people through no merit of their own to save Although God is under no obligation to save anybody.

Therefore to the question “How can a God who loves us, let terrible things happen to us?”, my friend replies, “Why not?”.

God is love but there are no good people.

Hence, no problem to reconcile.

Another friend also quotes Scripture, “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose”.

According to her view, nothing really bad happens; it all turns out to be good—eventually.

Of course it may seem bad while it’s happening—like when you break your arm and it’s healing wrong and the doctor has to re-break it to set it right. No fun at the time it’s going on ,but it’s part of the healing process. It’s all part of God’s plan to bring us eternal joy.

Therefore to the question “How can a God who loves us, let terrible things happen to us?”, my friend replies, “There are no bad things—not really bad, permanently bad things.”.

So, both friends let God off the hook. If there are no good people, or if there are no bad things, then what’s the problem?

The problem is that I smell a skunk.

I believe in a loving God. I see a world full of suffering. I would not treat an enemy as bad as God sometimes appear to treat His friends. Surely God is better than I am. If not---Head for the hills!

Then there’s the matter of consequences.

Actions have consequences. It seems reasonable that good actions should have good consequences and bad actions have bad consequences. Looks like it ought to work that way.

But it doesn’t.

Not all bank robbers get shot by the security guard. Some murderers never get caught. Some CEOs make off with the pension fund and live in luxury the rest of their lives.

On the other hand, consider Joseph in the Book of Genesis. Accused of rape by a shunned woman, Joseph spent years in prison although he had never touched her.

Fall-guys take the consequences for things they never did. Secretaries go to jail for money the boss embezzled. Professors take the credit when they publish a paper a grad student wrote.

Consequences do not necessarily match actions. It’s easy reasoning to blame someone’s trouble on some sin they committed—but that’s not always true.

My e-friend Pete reminded me of the time when Jesus mentioned a terrible construction accident:

“Those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish,” Jesus said.

In our sinful world, while a lot of aggravation is self-generated, not all our troubles are a consequence of our sin.

Later in Joseph’s story it turned out that God had put him in prison so he could save the tribe of Israel from a famine. And he told his wicked brothers who initiated his slavery in Egypt, “Ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive”.

That’s another reason I’ve heard advanced for “How can a God who loves us, let terrible things happen to us?” Perhaps God let it happen to you, so you can minister to others who also suffer.

Paul seems to say something like that:

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

Does Paul really say that disasters befall us because God is training us to help somebody else.

Does my home have to burn down just so I can console those folks in California wildfires today? Are all those people losing their homes because they are vile nasty sinners? Is God training them to be comforters?

Or, do they just happen to be in the path of disaster?

They suffer what they suffer because they are where they are.

Remember the mosquito that bit Rupert Brooke?

Rupert got bit because mosquitoes bite.

St. Peter warned his readers to sober and to be vigilant because the devil, like a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour. The evil one spreads trouble, anxiety, pain, misery, war, famine, sickness and credit card debt to all and sundry.

God’s mosquitoes teach us that no one is immune from bites and troubles. It’s not because we are bad or because God hates us or because we sinned or our parents did—although all those factors may enter into why we suffer bad stuff.

We live in a fallen and wounded world.

Believer and non believer alike live in the same physical world. Both get bit by mosquitoes. Either may become parents of a retarded baby.

Like God’s good rain fertilizes the fields of the righteous and the wicked alike, so troubles fall on righteous and godless people. In speaking of troubles Peter reminds us “knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world”.

I mean if Rupert Brooke, the handsomest man in the world, got bit, is it any surprise that I do?

Of course, he was only the handsomest man in the world back in 1915.

I hadn’t been born 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 @ 3:09 AM

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