When All Seems Lost

I’ve finished reading a book by Boris Pasternak titled Doctor Zhivago, not that easy to read and understand unless you have some knowledge of Russian history and an understanding of the multiple names the characters have; for instance the protagonist goes by Zhivago, as well as Yuri Andreievich and Yurochka. There is a list of the names of the various characters preceding Part One of the story but it is still confusing remembering who is who throughout the 500 page book.

The first thing that impressed me was the description throughout, and secondly, the hardship of the people, the divisiveness of the warring factions: the Whites, the Reds and the Partisans, the struggle for freedom and the desire for control of the opposing forces. I am not fond of most writing that uses a great deal of description but the author uses it so well to reveal feelings and landscape by this poetic and poignant means.

The story of human suffering, including hunger, lack of fuel and transportation, the beauty of the landscape and the ruination of a former once glorious, prosperous era is told through the eyes of a sincere man aware of his own personal guilt in loving two women and his ongoing desire to write about himself and his beloved country.

While reading this story, the fate of our own glorious country was undeniably brought to mind and the warnings of its founders ever before me. Founded on faith, may we keep both faith and freedom.

Reminds me of a warning issued by many before the winter of the pandemic that it would be a long, dark, cold winter ahead reminiscent of that in this book. And here we go again due to possible shortages of fuel, food and every other necessity..

Kool Aid is No Joke!

Remember the drink some of our mothers gave us as kids? We guzzled it down on hot summer days and ingested gallons of the sugar filled, artificially colored liquid, with various other ‘nefarious’ ingredients.

Unfortunately the ‘Kool Aid Drinkers’ I am writing about here are ingesting a much more detrimental substance and they, while buying organic foods, reading labels, avoiding at all costs that comparably innocent Kool Aid of our childhood days, are ingesting ideas thrust upon them over and over until lies become good and true.

It is no joke and I for one am not laughing. Well, maybe once in a while, when our fearless leader claims that wind is more reliable than coal or that the high price of gas & heating oil is due to the war in the Ukraine when our own country has enough natural resources to save ourselves and all of Europe from freezing and starving this ‘cold, dark winter’ but we will be doomed if we use them.

Or sadly the worst lie of all that the child a woman is carrying is not a person but a part of her body which she has a perfect right to rip out and throw away or even use for experimental reasons to save millions of victims through ‘preventive vacines’ or perhaps use a liver or kidney to save a life.

And do you really think all that happened since January 2020 is the result of what is visible? Or what, instead, is hidden in a great lie yet to see the light of day.

Sorry, I have to leave you now to add some logs to my fireplace and drink some hot coffee!

An Ending and A Beginning

Luke 17: 20 ”The kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
24 “…For as the lightening flashes from one end of the sky to the other, so will the son of man be in his day.”

    When the Light Comes

Just nodding off a piercing brightness intrudes
Sound of a million choirs reverberate the eardrums
Roses of  another world fall to precede the Holy One
Their scent is delicate and all enticing.

Trumpets sound pure in pitch and clear in note
They announce the Master’s return to His beloved.
All is revealed in the twinkling of an eye
And all former knowledge pales when the light comes.

                                        Nov.13, 2003

Note: I don’t know how the numbers got ther on the left side of the poem or how to get rid of them. The author.

As Plain as the Nose on your Face

It is evil, so much of it is just that. There is a verse in the bible that states Satan is the father of lies and it seems they cover up what daily stares us in the face. Each morning at this point in my life I am thankful to be able to stand on my feet, do daily chores, and enjoy the simple things in life as well as the glorious which right now, in this season, includes the autumn leaves.

Are things really as good as they say.: inflation dropping, wind mills and solar panels free energy & plenty of it, global organizations looking after us, the common people, free food, free money,etc etc…. Do we want free or freedom? Free to choose to kill our own children at full term, to choose our sex: male, female, animal, vegetable, xyz, or all of the above?

In talking with a friend of mine recently I realized she had no idea as to the extent our society has plunged into the depths of insanity. For instance transgender surgeries she claimed are necessary & rare, abortion is up to the ‘mother’, and a saying we’ve heard from someone you might recall: Who am I to judge?

We are just pilgrims in this world on our way to eternity or would we rather go on a trip to Mars and live confined in a space suit or bubble? We are living in a time where good is bad and bad is good and freedom is meant only for those intelligent and wealthy enough to deserve it. For myself, seeing the evil, I choose to endeavor to believe good will triumph and life is worth the fight for the remedy, which is TRUTH!

So look past your nose and see the glorious colors of the season and fight the good fight daily.

Does Every Man Know He Is Made to Be Eternal ?

A few days ago I was thinking of a quote on a greeting card I once sent to a friend some years ago. I was wondering if it was from the Bible and thought about googling it. In the course of my day the idea slipped my mind as often happens, I guess, to many of us.

Recently not able to attend Mass, I looked up the daily readings for today on line. And sure enough found that very quote was in the book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament of the Bible. The reading is familiar to me and many others, at least we remember the beginning. You could spend time pondering each of the eleven verses. The quote follows:

Eccl. 3:1-11 1) For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven, 2) a time to be born & a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3) a time to kill, and a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build up; 4) a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance; 5) a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing; 6) a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep and a time to cast away; 7) a time to rend and a time to sow; a time to keep silence and a time to speak; 8) a time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace; 9) What gain has a worker for his toil? 10) I have seen he business that God has given to to the sons of man to be busy with. 10) He has made everything beautiful in its time; 11) also, He he has put eternity into man’s mind, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.

The passage is a reflection of King Solomon on life. The verse I am speaking of is: 11) also, He has put eternity into man’s mind. The reason this particular verse remains embedded in my mind is just that I believe it is present in the mind of every one of us and a path to realizing the existence of a Creator who must care about us to have put it there. Solomon was said by God to be the wisest man on earth but even he fell away from the path set before him by God for a time. Even men today who claim to be atheists seek eternity by freezing their bodies to preserve themselves. Or foolishly refuse to think that they will eventually die, and act accordingly; it may be the reason many seek power over those who seem weak to them. And with free will each of us chooses to do good or evil. Our bodies are mortal and our souls immortal. Christ came that we might have life in eternity forever.

When I hear what is happening in our country, I keep asking: Why would this fleeting life be more important than eternal life?

Poem: No Fear

And why would you fear? Because to fear you must fear something. And what is it that you would fear? For what has greater strength than Him, Who guards you soul? For all the day He battles to save you from darkness; and His light blinds the enemy.

He holds you by a thread so strong, nothing can rip the cord. For the string of His love never fails, but holds tight in the midst of adversity. He allows slack for you to wander here & there. Yet He tightens the bond in His own way when you are in peril of being lost. Just as He was ever there in His own Son’s life

He is ever present to us, His cherished ones. He bathes our garments in the blood of trials. He crucifies our selfishness and pulls us up to Him. For the bond was always there.

November 13, 2003 DJ Pasternak

Hadar’s Son: Sequel to Daybreak Novel

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­Chapter 1 The Journey

The time of the olive harvest arrived and I awoke at the first light of day and went to fetch water at the well. Lowering the goatskin into the cistern, I recalled the story Abraham told me a week ago when he came from Jerusalem. The old friend of Cousin Jonathan still lived in the Holy City with his father Simon, his wife Marianne and their two sons. He belonged to The Way and often related tales from the life of Yeshua, the Messiah.

Yeshua was known to associate with sinners even the loose woman from Samaria He met at Jacob’s well. As Abraham often repeated, the Messiah looked into the heart and knew the longings of those He met while He walked on the earth. He saw the ambitious, pompous longings of a great many Pharisees and religious leaders. But when He met the Samaritan woman who had lived with five husbands and now a sixth man who was not her husband, Yeshua saw an open heart.

Pulling up the goatskin, I saw my own reflection in the water of the shallow well. A picture flashed in my mind from five years ago when my family and I were baptized by Philip the Evangelist. My siblings were all married now. Only I remained to care for my parents. The eyes looking up at me reflected the strain of being tied to this place. If the Messiah looked into this heart of mine, He would see the yearnings residing there. I wondered if Yeshua would condemn the selfishness in me?

“Matthias, hurry. We have much work to accomplish this day,” Father said interrupting my day dreams.

“Coming, Father,” I said feeling guilty for the desire to leave my parents, especially since they were the kindest people and most deserving of my devotion.

I loved the family who lived here: Aunt Avigail, my grandparents and cousins, and also the family of Matthew of Cana who owned the groves where we worked. They were relatives of Cousin Jonathan’s wife Sarai, whom I never knew because she died before my birth. In spite of the loving family and friends surrounding me, I could not help thinking about what lay beyond this cluster of humble dwellings a few miles from Jerusalem.

All of us belonged to the Way and believed in Yeshua. Sometimes we journeyed the few miles to Jerusalem and met with Peter, the Apostle chosen by Yeshua to lead the Way. Yesterday Father announced that we would join Peter and a group of believers in the Holy City on the day after the Sabbath. We knew some of the Jewish leaders, the Sadducees and Pharisees and also Herod and the Romans sought to wipe out the ‘cult of Yeshua’ and persecutions were taking place in the city. However, being in the presence of Peter and the others who actually spent three years with the Messiah, the Son of God, was worth the risk.

In fact my friends and I were drawn to the adventure. We had several narrow escapes from discovery by outsiders, even one time by a Pharisee. We had heard the story of a Greek speaking deacon named Stephen who was stoned at the Sheep Gate some time after Pentecost when the Spirit came upon him and three thousand others. I remembered Father telling us how Cousin Jonathan and his friend Josephus of Capharnaum witnessed the martyrdom of the deacon. This happened just before my uncle left for Caesarea where Philip, also a Greek speaking deacon like Stephen, was to eventually join him.

All these thoughts ran through my mind as Father and I walked toward the groves. A week ago we had observed the feast of Atonement, the Holiest day for Jews. This year the ten days of reflecting on my sins centered around this burning desire to leave my parents and meet Cousin Jonathan in Caesarea.

I wondered if this dream of mine came from the Spirit of God or was it my own fantasy, my own desire. For now, obedience to take care of my parents kept me here. Yes, I must spend these precious days with them for this was only one season of my life.

“Come Matthias. Grab hold of the other side of the cloth. This tree must have been here since the time of Abraham. The wood looks as old as Methuselah. Son, here take the stick. You seem far away in thought but it is time for work not day dreaming.”

“Yes, Father. There is a time for everything under the sun.”

I held the stick tightly and swung at the branches above my head. The olives rained down unto the cloth we had spread beneath the tree. I stepped to one side but the first falling fruit pelted my arms and oil dampened my skin. The olives continued to fall and oil from the bruised fruit soaked into the cloth. After two more swipes, Father and I dumped the olives in a basket and squeezed the oil from the cloth into a large flask. This oil would be used to burn in the menorah of the Holy Temple.

Wielding the sticks at the branches continued throughout the daylight hours. We stopped only for water as the sweat dripped from our bodies. The work was exhausting yet gratifying. Aunt Avigail often came to the groves with some flat bread, goat cheese and figs. We would sit with her a few minutes and take sips of sweet wine she brought. My aunt was quite different from my father. You might even say she was overbearing at times, while his manner remained steady and mild. I was more like her but sometimes wished for a portion of my father’s serenity.

When I glimpsed Aunt Avigail coming toward us through the trees, it did not surprise me. However, reaching us we saw she carried no wine or food and stood before us breathless and trembling.

“Avigail, what is it?” Father asked gently gripping her shoulders.

“Hadar, it’s, it’s Jonathan!” she gasped. “He is ill, gravely ill.”

“Cousin Jonathan in Caesarea?” I asked.

“Yes, he has the fever. Philip sent a messenger for someone to come. He may die,” she said. Looking at Father tears came into her eyes. “I’m sorry, Hadar. So sorry. You must go.”

He turned away and began sobbing and said,“I can’t go. Not now, my dear sister. The olives won’t wait.”

Father looked at me and with some effort said, “I will send you, Matthias.”

What About Biden?

What about our president? We see flags for and against him. On our road a few houses away there was one of those flags using a common word to you know what him. I stopped and asked who put it up, sadly I had never met this neighbor. His reaction was unexpected because he said, “I am sorry. I didn’t want to offend anyone. I’ll take it down.” A few days later it was gone.

Every time someone says something to the effect, Biden did this, Biden did that, he is ruining our country, I cringe. He does nothing, but say the words put into his mouth, sign the mandates set before him, hand out money, follow the polices, of evil misguided people who plan to save us from the rising oceans, the blazing sun, the crazy ideas that there is indeed a God.

The thing I cannot understand is why? We are all mortals and will not live here on this ‘dying’ planet forever no matter how many billions/trillions we have or how many degrees there are after our name.

There is a saying among commoners, uneducated folks like myself, about money: You can’t take it with you. But it seems it is being used as a means of power for a hidden plan to save us from ourselves. Pray for our president that somehow when he is no longer useful to those who pull the strings, he will turn to the One and only who is working to fulfill His plan, not one that is fleeting but eternal.

‘You can Quote Me’: Reagan Continued

Here it is Sunday morning again; how the weeks of summer fly by. I did not want another week to go by without continuing the blog about Pres. Reagan’s speech to Evangelical Christian in 1983. It is even more crucial today and this is my way of conveying his message now through Quotes he used then:

Pres. Reagan: …a commitment to freedom and personal liberty, that freedom prospers only where the blessings of God are avidly sought and humbly accepted

C. S. Lewis: The greatest evil is not done now…in those sordid dens of crime that Dickens loved to paint. It is…not even done in concentration camps and labor camps. In those we see its final result; but it is conceived and ordered, moved seconded, carried and minuted in clear, carpeted, warmed and well lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voice.

Whittaker Chambers: The crises of the western world exists to the degree in which the west is indifferent to God, the degree to which it stands alone in communism’s attempt to make man stand alone without God.

Pres. Reagan: I believe we shall rise to the challenge. I believe that communism is another sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages–last pages even now are being written.

William Penn: If we will not be governed by God, we must be governed by tyrants.

Alexis de Toqueville: Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness, did I understand the greatness and genius of America, America is good. And if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.

Perhaps this last quote is the source of another we have heard in most recent time, by a most unlikely messenger, not exactly angelic: Make American great again! Four words that require four more: Make America good again! Who knows if, how, or when? Who was it that said? No one is good but God alone.

Time to go to Church!!

Pres. Reagan’s Evil Empire Speech

It was a beautiful morning; cooler and clearer than the past week; Sunday morning, when as usual we prepare to attend church, for us, Mass. As often happens a pop up from the American Greatness site entitled A Token of a Managerial Age Bewails Trump’s Surge, a political commentary by conservative Roger Kimball. I would suggest you look this up.

But my focus here is on his mention of a speech by Pres. Reagan on March 8, 1983 known as the Evil Empire Speech. I skimmed Kimball’s article and googled the speech. Major concerns at that time are echoed by those of today: ten long years of abortion and government funding for the procedure, prayer taken away from the public schools, parental rights, etc. The speech can be found on the Voices of Democracy The US Oratory Project given at a National Association of Evangelicals gathering.

Since the speech is ten pages in the print out and includes a great deal of information my best method of conveying his message here, is by way of quotes: those he used to illustrate his message and some from Reagan himself. They will be in my next blog, coming soon. Perhaps written on a Sunday morning to come.