Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I FOUND IT!

Pursuant to my previous post, I was looking for the "church of God" words to the tune of "Battle Hymn of the Republic".
Well - tah dah - I found them.

They were written by Brother D.S. Warner in 1885 or so.
It is titled "The Truth Is Marching On"

.........................................

On the mountain top of vision what a glory we behold!
Eighteen hundred years of victory are tinging earth with gold;
For the saints are overcoming with their testimony bold,
The truth is marching on.

Refrain: Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
The truth is marching on.


For the glory of the Father Jesus taught in Galilee,
And He preached the great salvation that delivers you and me;
And a million voices shout it out, “Redemption’s full and free,”
The truth is marching on.

Refrain

Eighteen hundred years of marching, eighteen hundred years of song,
While the Conqueror advances—lo, the time will not be long:
He shall soon appear in glory and shall overthrow the wrong,
Our God is marching on.

Refrain

Precious knowledge is increasing, evening light begins to glow,
With the trump of full salvation many running to and fro;
And the song of glory echoes, “Christ has washed us white as snow,”
All glory to His name!

Refrain

On the blissful heights of glory we will shout the battle o’er,
And in the golden city we will join the Conqueror,
And when the war is over, with the saints forevermore
We’ll crown Him with all praise

Refrain
......................................

Some of the verses are slightly different from what I remember singing when I was in the choir in Morgan City.
But at my age, I suspect the difference is in what I remember rather than what was written. ;)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sum Mor Thots

It is Sunday morning.
As has become my habit, I walked around the neighborhood.
My circuit is almost exactly two miles.
Although I was prepared to get wet, the rain had already passed and all I received was a spattering of misty microdrops.
The birds were happily singing at 5:30 and all but a couple of the neighborhood dogs were sleeping in.
It was an enjoyable session with just faint reminders from my right knee and left hamstring (again) of the distress they have suffered this past week at work.

This past week a radio host related how moved he was to hear the performance of The Battle Hymn of the Republic, sung by a US military chorus.
He played a recording of it, and I, also, was moved.
I reprint the words here to remind you how a skilled poet can craft words to paint vivid images in our mind.

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch fires of a hundred circling camps
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps;
His day is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery Gospel writ in burnished rows of steel;
“As ye deal with My contemners, so with you My grace shall deal”;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with His heel,
Since God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Since God is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet;
Our God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free;
[originally …let us die to make men free]
While God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! While God is marching on.

He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is wisdom to the mighty, He is honor to the brave;
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of wrong His slave,
Our God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.
......................

The tune so lends itself to verse that many variations of words have been written over the years since Julia Ward Howe wrote these in 1861.
And hers were not the first set of lyrics set to this melody.
They were at least the third.
One version is a distinctly Church of God flavor.
I forget who wrote them.
I shall search for them and publish them when I find them.

Have a blessed day.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Here and There

Let the Royal Chronicles show that the flannel sheets have been removed from the Royal bed, cleaned and packed away for the rest of the warm season.

THE RUN

Today was a slog.
The physical effort at work this week (lots of sitting/lying on the floor doing isometric twisting crunches while installing equipment and cables) plus the extra hours, has left me very tired.
So, today was expected to be a difficult time.
But I was determined, if at all possible, to run.

With all the climbing in an out of the shelter being equipped, and the getting up and down on the floor and the scooting back and forth on the floor to get to where I need to be to reach where I must reach, my knees are whining about being twisted too much.
One or the other (or both of them) squeaked with almost every step I took while walking this week.

I have learned that joint distress while walking does not necessarily translate into distress while running, and today was no exception.
There was very little knee whining this morning.
This is mostly because I run in a very linear manner.
I have been told that I look “smooth” when I am running.
(I don't know how much of that is just something nice/encouraging to say and how much of it is honest assessment. One such comment came during a race from a lady who did not know me.)

I started out with the idea that I will see how I feel at the point where I proceed to the four-mile course or follow the three-mile course.
By the time I arrived at said point, it was clear that I should take the lesser route lest I break something.
Id or Ego (whichever it is) and the runner in me were disappointed in my choice but my knees were thrilled.
They were not feeling twisted from the run, but were tired and achy nontheless.
I finished the three-mile jaunt in about 30 minutes.

Not a good time, but the session was useful in elevating my endorphin levels for the rest of the day.
And for bragging rights, just to say that I had run this day.

And the weather (finally!) was perfect (well, almost. Less humidity would be even perfecter) for running.
Minimal clothing made for a more pleasant time of it.

POLITICAL THOTS

The “Reverend” Jeremiah Wright is wrong.
He is not a man of God.
He is a racist bigot.
His hatred for anyone white and/or wealthy is clear.

He was the subject of an interview this week.
His claim that the portion of his sermon was “taken out of context” is absurd.
What other context can you put such complete sentences of class envy, racial hatred, and disdain for this country, than that in which they were spoken?
He said what he said on the YouTube segment.
What other way are we to interpret those statements?
That he thinks “rich, white folks” are the cause of the problems for his congregation is stupid.
That all “rich white folks” are racists? (whatever that means exactly)
That all “rich white folks” hate all other citizens of this country who have darker skin?
Get over it, Wrighty.
You are just a two-bit opportunist preacher like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, with shorter hair.


John McCain visited New Orleans this week and told the news folks that it was the fault of the Bush administration that such a tragedy took place there (meaning the flood after the hurricane).
He did not mention that the Governor of the state or the Mayor of the city are/were incompetent jerks who should be held criminally liable for all of the deaths in that city.
The evacuation plan for the city of New Orleans was not implemented.
There was a total failure of local and state leadership and planning.
But RINO McCain did not mention any of this.
He just flapped his jaw with the same garbage that all the other democrats say/have said.

Mr. McCain may have served his country honorably in the military, but he is a useless, incompetent airbag of a politician.
I believe that duplication of such nonsense as was presented today could allow him to lose this presidential election.
At this point it is his to lose.
I am not convinced that it would be a bad thing except that the alternate choice would be a little worse.
No matter who wins the White House, with the congress in the hands of the socialist/liberal/democrats the next four - or God forbid, eight – years, it will be some of the worst times this country has ever experienced, and may materially hasten the destruction of this nation as we have known it.

If you needed any further evidence that the solution to our energy problems is with the government, notice the rise in the cost of corn products in the grocery store.
It is the direct result of subsidies paid by the federal government to companies that process corn for making ethanol.
Ethanol is NOT the answer -even in the short term – to the alleged energy problem this country is experiencing.
And congress passing stupid laws only adds to the problem, such as it is.
They have increased the CAFE fuel economy standards to 35 mpg by 2015 or so, like that will solve anything.

Maybe congress should just pass a law suspending the laws of physics for a while.
Then we could all fly to work by flapping our arms.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Update - Briefly

(The Rippingtons playing in the background.)

Sorry for the lack of new postings.
Work has picked up and we are working some overtime (which throws my little daily schedule off.)
I worked 10 hours today. (Thursday)
I am tired.

The run last Saturday was nice and average.
Meaning it was good.
I was a bit slower than I usually am, but I felt a bit tired (prolly from the extra work effort).
The temp was AGAIN right at 50, so I had to worry about dressing just right.
The weather person is predicting that this coming Saturday AM will start at near 60 degrees.
I know how I will be prepared for this session.
He is also predicting rain.
I may get wet but that is okay if it is warm enough.
Wee shall see.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

POSITIVE RUNNAGE

I had a good run this morning.
And I found out something that made me feel good.
First, the stupid temperature was AGAIN right at 50 degrees, so I had to wear my partly, mostly, not quite fully warm outfit.
It turned out to be not quite enough.
My ears got cold.
This was prolly because of the nice breeze that was blowing from the north.
I felt a bit tired as I started out and that feeling stayed with me until the last hundred yards or so.
And, as usual, my left hamstring was mumbling about discomfort almost the whole session.
I still think this is an artifact from the dumbbell rows I do on Thursday evenings.
I am up to 70 pounds and for some reason I must brace myself a bit differently when doing my left side than I do when doing my right side.
I have tried to analyze my form as I am doing the exercise but I cannot tell any difference in how I place my legs.
Anyway, barely audible left ham whining this morning.
I ran the course in about 42 minutes – typical for this stage in my life.
But as I was getting into my car to go home I remembered something.

I remembered that I wanted to check the distance of my course with my odometer.
So I did.
Up to this point, my estimates of the distance have been by measuring maps.
Today I drove the distance.
My "three mile" course measured 4.45 miles.
Now I don't feel so bad about my 42 minute times.


CHURCH NEWS

The congregation where I attend church had been affiliated with the Church of God with general offices in Anderson, Indiana since it was founded (before my time started there).
This past month, our pastor announced that he could no longer support the national and state organizations because of some of the doctrinal changes that have taken place in the last few years, and because of some of the organizational changes they are starting to implement.

He went into detail about some of the issues that were most troubling to him.
He also suggested that the congregation consider separating from the state and national organizations also.

Truth be told, there was very little influence (as in none) on our congregation from the national or state organizations.
The concern was that this situation was about to change.
He wanted out before “things” got started. (such as required budget submissions to the national and state organizations.)

The congregation held a meeting three weeks ago to discuss the issue.
I was surprised at how many people spoke in favor of separating.
I was one of them.

Last week we voted on the proposal.
To my surprise, 87 percent of the congregation voted to separate from Anderson.
Now comes the work.
We need to change the name of the church.
Prolly from Madison First Church of God to just Madison Church of God.
We will also have to change our bylaws a little to take out the name of the national and state organizations where they appear.
These changes will not be difficult.

These are exciting times at my church.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

A FIT OF NOSTALGIA

Back in the early 60s of the last century, I was a fan of a musical group called The Kingston Trio.
In them days, a “new” style of music became very popular.
It was called “folk” music.
There still is a category of music now called “folk”.
It is a mixture of country and bluegrass.
Another category has cropped up lately called “Americana”.
It is hard to describe because there are variations of the elements that one would include (or exclude) in identifying the genre. (I hate that word)

Generally, “folk” music is characterized by acoustic instruments, unprocessed singing styles, and songs about historic events or past times, as well as relationships (love found, love lost, etc.).

Anyway, when I went into the army in 1966, I had a collection of nearly all the albums recorded by the Kingston Trio. When I was reassigned to Ft. Bliss, Texas in late 1967, I gathered all my albums from home and took them to my room on the base.
Bad idea.
There was a guy in our barracks – on our floor (I was on the second) who had a pass key and was breaking into rooms and stealing stuff.
He stole almost all of my records.
I knew who he was, but could never produce enough evidence to get him arrested.

For years since then, I tried to find replacements for the albums that I lost but never could find them.
I came across “greatest hits” compilations but they always left out many of their good songs that I liked.
So I gave up on the task.

In the last year, I found a Kingston Trio website that sells ALL of the recordings that I lost, plus some that I was not aware of.
I was very pleased.

So last week, I my effort to spur the economy, I purchased 16 CDs of the Kingston Trio – the equivalent of 31 record albums.
It cost almost $300.
But now I am caught up on my old music.
It has been a trip of nostalgia.

See, I went to see the K3 at the Hollywood Bowl with some friends in 1963.
The program included the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
It was a killer show, one that I will never forget (at least until my Alzheimers advances).
I was so impressed/revved/stoked by the performance that the next day I bought a guitar so I could learn to play and sing the songs that I had heard.

I eventually did learn to play the guitar.
And me and a couple of friends formed a singing group of our own and played and sang many of the K3's songs.
(full details in my upcoming autobiography - really.)
We did this until I went into the army.

The box of CDs arrived the day before my birthday – yesterday.
So it was kind of a birthday present for me.
Today I am 63.
Woo hoo.

Shortly after I returned from my usual Saturday morning shopping trip, Joshua called.
At first, I thought something dire was afoot.
Not to worry.
It was just an early birthday greeting and an offer to visit to celebrate the occasion.
Then Jef called for the same purpose and shortly I was in the company of my bookend sons.
While we were visiting, son number three – Tim – called to express his congratulations and to indicate that he would be unable to attend the planned birthday lunch.
We soon repaired to Appleby's for a nice lunch (with dessert!).
Then it was back to the house for more conversation.
All in all, I had a nice visit with my boys.

THE RUN

My birthday started off with a nice run.
The temperature was, again, exactly 50 degrees so I had to wear a modified cold-weather outfit.
Just to make things more challenging, there was a dandy 10-15 MPH wind coming out of the north this morning at 6:07.
It made going up Hill Two a real job.
So much so, that I kicked into accelerated breathing halfway up the incline.
It was in my face for the half mile after that also.

Fortunately, I had picked the right level of coverage and never got too cold or hot.
The wind was enough to keep me from taking my knit gloves off until the beginning of mile three.

I even had enough Wheaties to do a modified sprint at the end.
Elapsed time = 41 minutes.
Not bad.
I am still thinking of running up Bankhead Parkway when the weather warms a bit.
Maybe next week.....

WEEKLY COMMENT

Some committee in Congress called all the CEOs of the major oil companies to a meeting this past week.
It was one of the most stupid spectacles I have seen in a while, but completely consistent with the nonsense this Congress has performed in the past.
I was impressed with the presentations of the businessmen as they endured the oral farts of the politicians.

It was obvious that the entire purpose of the event was to allow the politicians to spout off about the high price of gasoline/oil (sorry about the pun – well, actually, no I'm not.).
The executives patiently explained to the elected airbags the the price of oil – and thus, of gasoline – is controlled by supply and demand on the world scale, not just demand in the United States.
Therefore, even if demand for petroleum products diminishes in the United States, if demand remains high in other parts of the world, the price of oil will remain high.
They also pointed out that congress has restricted the areas where oil may be extracted in the United States, thus further limiting the supply of oil for this country.
Of course, all of this fell on deaf ears of the politicians.

General Rule – Government has NEVER been able to undo the laws of supply and demand.

When they limit supply – like they are doing with ANWR and off-shore drilling, demand will force higher prices (prices ALWAYS follow demand).
If they limit demand with increased taxes, the market will seek alternatives, sometimes in the form of a “black market”, which is just illegal additional supply.