On dating after 40…

I am 41 year old divorcee, have a great job, live comfortably, and after nearly a decade of living on my own… am very hesitant to compromise that. That does not mean I will not compromise, but generally speaking I am in my 40s and single – there is a reason. Even now I am certain that there is one woman out there whom I will yield completely to. No games, no nonsense.

Walls down, heart open.

I had my wild phase where I did a lot of stupid things, partied until 5am, ran up my “list” because I simply did not care about anything other than right now. It cost me a lot, and it taught me a lot. Anyone who cannot look back on their life and laugh, cry, or cringe – has not lived. I do not have regrets, I have lessons. Many, many… MANY lessons.

I had a marriage that obviously did not end well – at the time – but turned into a friendship I would not trade for anything. In the time since – I have had all of 2 “relationships.” One lasted a couple of months, the other lasted a couple of weeks. The latter – again – started and ended with a lasting friendship. Some say men and women can not be friends, I say hogwash.

Good friends are good friends, it does not matter what is twixt their thighs.

There are very few people in my “circle” who are not married at this point. I would say 50% of them have kids. I absolutely love my step-kids from my marriage. Life changes, people grow. Back in the day I always had that dream of “settling down” – wife, house, 2.5 kids (.5 being a cat because I am sorry but dogs are too freaking high maintenance). Did not happen.

I have tried dating. I have met many wonderful women by dating. I cannot stand dating. It is not that I am not good at it, I just legitimately do not care at this point. While I am perfectly happy taking someone special out, opening the door, paying for dinner, and going through the courtship motions, dating simply is not real, and it is a distraction from what is.

Sure, it is great for an introduction, but at 41 years old – in the year 2021, by the time that first traditional “date” happens, that introduction has already come and gone. Short of those “swiping right” – I have already got an idea of you, but no checklist of drinks or meals is going to cement a thing. Can I sit on a porch with you and just share this life? No date answers that.

I think it was an episode of “How I Met Your Mother” where Lily kept tanking Ted’s relationships because his dates did not pass the “porch” test. At 41 years of age I am past checking to see if you unlock the car door. I am over the games. Can we go out and have fun? Can we stay in and chill? Is simply being together enough, regardless of what is going on?

Sex. Good freaking grief. Anyone can have sex in 2021. I cannot think of any other time in human history where sex was as easy to obtain as a pint of ice cream from the corner store. Maybe with the right person, chemistry, and timing, it would be a bigger deal in my life, but generally speaking at this point, a woman holding my hand is more significant than sex.

Romance is not dead. I absolutely adore romance. I love being loved, and I love sharing love with others. I mentioned earlier that I cannot stand dating, and honestly I loathe it. Dating does not equal romance! Romance just is. Love just is. Either someone inspires me to be romantic, or they do not. All I want is to love, be loved, and share myself completely.

One thing that has become an absolute requirement for me has been faith. Real faith. Belief in something more than what our 5 biological senses can experience. How can anyone embrace the invisible, relentless force of love beyond the flood of chemicals released by our brain if they are unwilling to believe in the invisible, relentless presence of God in their lives?

Do not be fake. Be real. Be yourself. Even if it means that we check off 4 out of 5 boxes in our mutual list of what we want from a partner in this life… If we are not real from that first glance, that first conversation, that first moment we break wind on the couch while watching NCIS… then it is all an act. Acting is illusion and I simply do not have any patience for illusion.

I do not put my best foot forward. I put my right foot out, then my left. I do not put a mask on my life to make it mesh with someone else, I do not waste a smile by forcing it with a subtle squint to make it convincing. I am me. I do not want or need definitions. Definitions are an illusion of the world we live in. Definitions are used to justify what does not require them.

I see so many folks around my age contorting themselves in an impossible array of shapes to try and attract their ideal partner, when in reality our ideal partner will see us for who and what we are, take our hand, and walk with us. It is really not that complicated. God bless the folks who have reached that point already. God bless those of us who have yet to.

Love is the key. We withhold it, suppress it, hide it, restrict it. We list off reasons why we cannot when the only reason we are here on this Earth is to love one another. We focus on who and what we cannot love, and then cry out because our life is engulfed by the complete and utter lack of love in it. It is absolute, unadulterated, self inflected insanity.

I refuse to become jaded. Those who are jaded have spent far too much time compromising themselves and their deepest truth in the search of a companion who is not real. We exalt an illusion, and convince ourselves beyond all common sense and truth that the illusion is real. When that illusion fades away – we doubt ourselves and reject love instead of the illusion.

Love is real. Passion is fleeting. At the end of the day, when the sun sets, the lightning bugs come out, and the rest of the world turns in until the next day… I want to be sitting on that porch next to the one I may or may not have met yet. The one who requires no compromise. Whether speaking, silent, laughing, crying, or breaking wind on the couch…

Together.

She’s out there. Right now. Probably asking the same questions I am.

Love and peace to all of you. God bless.

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Blessed.

Caught this video a week or two back, and it genuinely spoke to my own frustrations with the modern Christian church. The director of “The Chosen” is responding to criticism over the idea of Mary Magdalene backsliding into sin after being saved… The implication being that she was never saved, or that being saved was not enough.

I have heard too many pastors make this accusation, and every time they do, I pray for the Lord to bring them wisdom and clarity. Most recently – a popular pastor quoted Rick Warren when saying (and I am paraphrasing here) – if someone has left your group, left your church, it does not matter as they were never actually saved. Consider them “blessed subtractions.”

“Be willing to let people leave the church. And I told you earlier the fact that people are gonna leave the church no matter what you do. But when you define the vision, you’re choosing who leaves. You say, “But Rick, yes, they’re the pillars of the church.” Now, you know what pillars are. Pillars are people who hold things up … And in your church, you may have to have some blessed subtractions before you have any real additions”

Rick Warren – The Purpose Driven Church

If an individual who has been saved by Christ backslides into sin, or walks way from a church, that does not make them a blessed subtraction, it means they need God more than ever. They need guidance and Truth. The modern church seems to have a greater focus on the 99 than the one who has gone astray. Mankind does not determine who is saved, only Jesus.

12 “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? 13 And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray.

Matthew 18:12-13

I have also heard pastors proclaim that unless someone is baptized in water – they will never see the Kingdom. They are not saved. All that they have done, all that they believe, all that they have committed to following Christ simply is not enough in the eyes of the church. I recall this specifically because it was said shortly after I lost my Father, a life long Catholic.

The implication was clear to me, that as a Catholic, because my father was not born again in water, because he did not accept Christ in a manner ordained by the church, he was not going to heaven. In fact, he was not there now! “You were not baptized as a child, you got wet.” A pastor said that on April 28th, 2019. The day I was born again. Take that in.

Now Jesus said the following…

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

John 3:5-6

Simple enough explanation… but follow my thought process for a moment here…

39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, [j]“If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”

40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

Luke 23:39-43

Where was the water tank? By the standards of men, that criminal was damned. By the standards of Christ – when he closed his eyes for the last time he awoke in the Kingdom of God. Another pastor reinforced my belief by recounting the tale of an elderly woman who on her death bed turned to Christ. She was saved. No water but the living water of Christ required.

14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

John 4:14

37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

John 7:37-38

We are human, we are flawed, we are sinners, but none of us are beyond redemption. The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross as atonement for our sins wiped our slate clean.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

John 14:6

There are no asterisks there, no fine print. I love Jesus for that. Nowhere in the Holy Bible does it say if you backslide, you were not saved to begin with. Now I have seen Matthew 18:15-17 used to justify the idea of a blessed subtraction, or that someone simply was never saved…

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

Matthew 18:15-17

Jesus Himself, as quoted by a former tax collector! The way I interpret that, is if a brother sins – talk to them directly. If they do not listen, bring another brother with you. If they still do not listen, talk to the church. After you have done what you can as commanded by Christ – love them.

What? Why can I not just call them a blessed subtraction to laughter and applause, or simply dismiss them as never saved? Who are we as followers of Christ to dictate the terms of the salvation He gave us? Some may think that is proper, but Christ thought differently.

30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Mark 12:30-31

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Matthew 5:43-48

It is wrong to imply that any follower of Christ who has backslid into sin, left a church, or not been baptized in water is not saved. Whomever proclaims as such is antithetical to the Word of God. No amount of salt matters when the voice is bereft of both the living water of Christ and the Holy Spirit. Let not your hearts be troubled. Have faith. Love God. Seek peace!

The truth here is that each and every one of us is a prodigal son. No matter the sin, no matter what anyone says in regards to the quality of our faith – praise God that Jesus has the final word. When we backslide into sin or think we have lost our faith… our Father will see us approaching no matter how far away He seems, and He will come running.

There are great, talented, God loving pastors out there right now, actively helping to turn lost souls towards Christ. They stand at the very beginning of the road we must travel back to our Father in heaven. They stand ready and waiting for the meek and the humble, for those seeking Him, to help us repent and start our journey back home.

Seek, and you shall be found.

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The Truth is Out There – Faith, not Fear.

When I was in kindergarten, we had a winter project where we would make a display, and the teacher would then spray it with this aerosol “fake snow” for added effect. Something he said stuck with me – 36 years after I graduated kindergarten – it’s still in the back of my head.

“You don’t want to breathe this stuff in, it could kill you.”

As a curious 6 year old boy, I of course went ahead and smelled it. Years later any time I felt sick I wondered if it was the aerosol snow spray finally coming to take me out. Such is the power of fear. What was scary then is well, just a memory now.

Last night I drafted (and briefly published before I retracted it) a rant after the words of a pastor I follow really set me off. These days I do my best to focus on God, and focus on love while shedding my fear. Shifting my focus to God has made what is not of Him more obvious.

There is so much fear in this world right now, and what aggravates me the most about this fear is that it simply is not real. It is a lie. It is a method of control. IMHO – if a leader promotes fear of anything other than God through word or deed – they are both deceiver and deceived.

For months I tuned in to Jack Hibbs and let the comments roll off. I saw churches being threatened by the Government. I saw videos of pastors angrily chasing authorities out the door who were attempting to enforce regulations. The chaos of the world was infiltrating my faith and it only made my faith stronger because I knew that chaos would inevitably fail.

Then there was the “happening” the other night…

No, not this one, I actually liked this movie TBH, but I digress…

Much discussion took place of what was going on in Israel and the recent increase in violence. I have faith that God will protect Israel, and that by His grace they will defend themselves as they always have… then the conversation took an abrupt turn.

No, that’s not advanced technology beyond our understanding. That’s a demon.

Seriously. What was otherwise a solid discussion of current events in Israel branched off into a commentary about UFOs being representations of demonic influence, and a sign that we are in the last days.

Eschatology. Revelation. The end of days. I’ve had the topic beaten into my head for the duration of Covid, through the presidential election cycle, and now the latest sign of the end times are UFOs. I’m sorry – but that dog just don’t hunt.

As the California Church has emerged victorious in its legal challenges against the unbalanced restrictions applied against it by Gavin Newsom… vaccinations are up, infections are down, and even in the People’s Republic of New York we are no longer required to wear a mask 83% of the time… I guess we needed something new to fear?

I don’t fear the world. I love God. We are taught by Jesus not to fear the world, not to fear death. We are citizens of heaven, created in God’s image, God is love, and love conquers all fear. Where is the love in this mishegoss? While the Bible doesn’t discuss UFOs or extra-terrestrials, it doesn’t bring up the Chevy in my driveway either. It does discuss fear…

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

Luke 14:27

“So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.”

Matthew 10:26

“…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

2 Timothy 1:7

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

1 John 4:7-11

At best, tossing the demonic influence label at anything beyond our current level of human understanding is hyperbole. At worst, fear mongering. Who are we to supplant the knowledge of God with our own? He created us, we most certainly did not create Him. If there are things in this world we do not yet understand, it is because God has yet to reveal that truth to us.

Had Wilbur and Orville Wright seen a General Dynamics F16 crack the sky… Had Henry Ford seen a Tesla Model S zip past silently at amazing speed… What might a DJI quadcopter look like to the average human even 50 years ago? So much of our technology today could be seen as unidentifiable, magical, even demonic a few decades ago.

Personally? I’m intrigued, and if anything – such a disclosure would increase my faith in God. As nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known – it was only a matter of time before we reached a stage where these questions could be taken seriously and answered.

If these are advanced vehicles from our own civilization? Praise God!

If these are advanced vehicles from an extra-terrestrial civilization? Praise God!

If swamp gas from a weather balloon was trapped in a thermal pocket and reflected the light from Venus? Praise God!

I would rather see the questions of our age answered with faith, not masked by fear.

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And by His stripes, we are healed.

From birth to death, life is about transition and growth. But life is as finite as the eternity which awaits us as followers of Christ is infinite. Two years ago this April a grand change took place when I rose from the waters of baptism to a new world and a new life in Christ. In short order, He restored my heart, soul, family, and my faith.

The past year has been difficult for me. The Lord lead me away from the church where I found Him waiting for me with open arms. He also peeled away the fellowship and support structure I clung to so dearly to in those early days of my walk with Him as Covid happened and I watched helplessly as the doors of the churches began to close.

The message was clear… Cling to Him. Depend on Him. Focus on Him.

I didn’t obey like I should have. I have not been a good and faithful servant. I have continued to fight the sin in my life as best I could. I have begged for wisdom, guidance, hope. I have plead for my paths to be straight again. Even as He brought my father home for the last time, I thanked Him for the 41 years I was blessed to share with my dad.

I feel like saying that I am in a period of transition right now would be both an overstatement and an understatement in the same shallow breath… Looking back through the years, so much has changed. I have fallen, risen, feared, and grown. Now though, I see so many options before me wherever I turn, that my faith is challenged. I clear one crossroad only to find another.

It is that realization which brought me to my knees in prayer tonight. Loud, clear, vocal prayer. A one on one conversation with God that wasn’t merely my daily supplication and thanksgiving within the confines of my own mind, but for the first time in many months I was speaking out loud on my knees to the God who saved me, and has promised me salvation.

As I made my requests and gave thanks, my knees dug into the floorboards beneath me. I held my hands together and spoke to the very God of creation whose words brought forth life from Genesis through Revelation. I prayed for wisdom, I prayed for guidance, I prayed in thanksgiving, and I prayed for fellowship.

As I ended my prayer and slowly rose up from the floor, I looked at my knees and saw how stripes had formed on my kneecaps from pressing into the 100 year old gaps in the boards.

5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.

Isaiah 53:5

It has been months since I have prayed like that. I do not feel that there is any coincidence that at this time, Passion Week, I have begun to turn back to the Lord my God and turn to Him fiercely. Just this past Sunday, Pastor Jack Hibbs discussed the origin of Palm Sunday, as Jesus returned to and wept for His city, Jerusalem.

Two years ago, at this time – God spoke loud and clear to me after I turned to him, as the pastor asked in reference to Matthew 21:12-13, to think about what tables needed to be overturned in my life and my path of restoration began.

12 Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 13 And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”

Matthew 21:12-13

It is no coincidence that here I sit 2 years later and the same question is being asked of me. What tables do I need to overturn in my life? What has my life of prayer become? What fears have I allowed into the temple of Christ that is my body and soul? What sin have I tolerated instead of casting out? What junk have I allowed to accumulate in my life to fight my discontentment (hat tip, Pastor Jason Ham) in place of the stripes which healed me?

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:10-13

I lost focus, even within my faith, through my prayer and supplications, my focus slowly but surely turned from the Lord. Even as I benefitted from the blessings He has provided, I dug in deeper and focused on my discontentment instead of Him who has provided for me the salvation from that very pain, aggravation, fear, and pride.

Father God please guide me, grant me wisdom, help me to strengthen my focus on you and please surround me with good and faithful servants of your son Jesus Christ that will help to keep my path straight in Your will, as I help them to do the same. Please forgive my sins and restore me. In Jesus name, amen.

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Justice League – Zakk Snyder Cut

When I first heard that Joss Whedon was taking over 1997’s Justice League in light of a family tragedy with Zakk Snyder, I was a little excited. He’d done good things with the MCU, and after Batman V Superman (which I did enjoy for the most part) – I was curious to see what route he’d take.

I also enjoyed 1997’s Justice League, but nobody could deny how disjointed it was. It felt rushed, overloaded with plot points and minimal character development. Things that absolutely required more development were cut short (ie Flash bursting through Bruce Wayne’s monitor, and his nightmare of a dark future).

Still, it possessed enough story and Whedon’s humor that it wasn’t a total train wreck.

I caught the Zakk Snyder cut of the film the other night, and within the first 10 minutes I knew I was in for a treat. Starting with the 4:3 format of days gone by which allowed me to focus specifically on what Snyder wanted me to, the plot which was ignited by the death of Superman as opposed to the obligatory mourning of 1997… It felt like the opening to Watchmen.

What followed was a near fully explored story, an epic story that was paced and developed more like a Lord of The Rings film than a comic book film. This wasn’t remotely like the loose MCU clone of 1997, and it lacked the blinding and wildly deconstructed feel of both Batman V Superman and the 1997 film. This is what we get when an artist shares his vision.

To be honest – I did miss some of the humor and light-hearted nature of 1997, but that was more for my own biased fan service, and this film did not require the distraction of laughter to gloss over the shortcomings in direction. Also, Cyborg doesn’t say “booyah” once, but I digress. As a whole the movie just plain works, and entertains – until the end.

Spoilers ahead.

The main plot terminated spectacularly. I was not disappointed by any means with the way the story ended, with Darkseid committing to getting the job done “the old way.” After that, we get an epilogue, some leads into future installments, that’s fine. I’m talking about the future scene which took a concept I looked forward to after reading the Injustice comics and ruined it.

Injustice was a series created to support the video games where various DC heroes and villains beat the crap out of each-other. At the root of it, Joker fools Superman into hallucinating that Lois Lane is a threat, and in the midst of the delusion, Superman kills Lois. Kal-El snaps, heads back to Earth and violently executes Joker. What follows is tyrant Superman.

Batman unites members of the Justice League who haven’t aligned with Superman to overthrow the new regime and defeat Superman. I never actually played the game, but the comic was excellent. Now whether Snyder tapped this concept for the future scene or not, one simple thing absolutely ruined it for me.

Jared Freaking Leto.

I cannot put into kind words just how much I disliked his portrayal of the clown prince of crime. Every other cinema iteration from Cesar Romero through Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger possessed a madness salted with dark humor. Leto’s Joker was like visiting Hot Topic while on LSD.

I’ve been annoyed with characters in the past because the actor did a great job. Leto’s Joker? I was annoyed with him because every time he showed up on screen the movie came to a dead stop. IMHO Mark Hamill, voice of the animated Joker, nailed the deep, dark, laughing madness of the character like no other…. Leto? Great Value Brand Criminal Mastermind.

So when I saw a now long-haired kool-aid mouthed Joker alive in this dystopian future where Darkseid has won and has control over Superman, I honestly did not care what was going on or whether my Injustice itch would be scratched at some point on the silver screen. As far as I’m concerned, casting for nearly every other hero and villain in the DCEU was perfect.

I would love to see Snyder get green-lit to continue to develop the DCEU, but please… Get Superman to punch a hole through Leto in the first 60 seconds… and never, ever let Joss Whedon near it again. That is all.

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Ephesians 5:11-14

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is a shame even to speak of the things that they do in secret; but when anything is exposed by the light it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.”

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Philippians 1:12-14 NIV

Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.

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Farewell, Rush.

17 He who speaks truth declares righteousness,
But a false witness, deceit.
18 There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise promotes health.
19 The truthful lip shall be established forever,
But a lying tongue is but for a moment.

Proverbs 12:17-19

I started to get interested in politics when I was a teenager. I’d already covered the first Gulf War for a project in school when I was 10 or 11. I remember the yellow ribbons around the trees, and the outpouring of support for the troops from my family and pretty much every adult I knew at the time. My upbringing by two hard working and loving parents in addition to the days events contributed to a frame of thought that didn’t quite mesh with my peers.

I got my first job when I was 13. It was a summer job out in Brewster, NY. At the office where my father worked in IT, I was doing data entry, fixing fax machines, generally being an office gopher. Every day we’d sit in his old Chrysler and drive the 90 minutes there and back, and part of the drive included listening to the Rush Limbaugh show. It was something that brought us together – a shared mind and many shared hours discussing politics.

Honestly, I cut my teeth on Conservative talk radio in the early 90’s. Bob Grant, Rush Limbaugh, Paul Harvey, maybe a few others stuck out but I can’t recall their names. They didn’t shape my thinking, but what they did accomplish was a reinforcement of how I was raised, the values my parents instilled in me – and an idea of what the truth was and how that truth tended to come off as almost… backwards to those around me.

I’ve listened to Rush for nearly 30 years now. Throughout the years he helped to keep my political path straight, well before I handed over my life to Christ. There’s a reason that so many folks who listened to his show over the years – whether they agree with his opinions or not – will keep him in their thoughts. He was a man who fully embraced his God given talent of communication, and he did it well!

Spending time with my Dad and talking politics was one of our things. That I basically grew up listening to Limbaugh with my Dad is why his fight against and eventual succumbing to cancer had such a strong effect on me as a person. Through all his public and personal battles, his fans stuck with him and greatly appreciated the perspective he offered. He’ll be missed by millions of listeners, and I can only imagine the conversations he is having right now.

God bless you and your family Rush, you will be missed.

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I Made a Thing – RetroPie

Behold, my Rapsberry Pi 4 running RetroPie.

Raspberry Pi 4B with 8GB of RAM running PieOS (Linux) and RetroPie for emulation.

Raspberry Pi has been around for nearly 10 years now. It’s a tiny computer the size of a business card. This one is quad core, 8GB of RAM, USB 3.0, HDMI, and 64GB of storage from a Samsung MicroSD card. Folks use these for any number of things from supporting a remote desktop, to home automation, software development, or in my case – emulation.

It’s no secret I’m a fan of classic gaming. My retro gaming setup is currently a collection of multiple consoles – Atari 2600, NES, SNES, and the Sega Genesis – hooked up to an old fashioned CRT television. What this will allow me to do is retire those consoles from regular use, wear and tear. I’ll break them out for special occasions, but this little box will takeover.

Not kidding, this thing is tiny.

While there are plenty of pre-built options out there, I wanted to do this one myself from scratch. My long-term plan now is to build an actual arcade style cabinet with the aforementioned CRT and this device as the beating heart of it. Thankfully I’ve got access to pretty much every woodworking tool I’d need to get that job done.

In total – I spent roughly $150 to build this with parts purchased from Microcenter in Paterson, NJ…

After a brief setup and copying the ROMs over, I was in business. I did run into a few issues along the way, as the video card doesn’t support more than 60hz refresh rate and my monitor defaulted to much higher than that. A little hackery and all was well. Also, some other roms/emulators I’m working with don’t play well with the ARM CPU. Still sorting that.

It’s not perfect – can be more Plug & Pray than Plug & Play, but it’s a new toy, runs Linux, and I’m now considering implementing these elsewhere for home automation and the like after seeing just how easy they are to setup.

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Jeremiah 6:16

Thus says the Lord : “Stand in the ways and see, And ask for the old paths, where the good way is, And walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it. ’

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