Saturday, November 24, 2012

First measurable snowfall

I'd like to be the first person in Greenville to report that a snow event has occurred yielding the season's first measurable snowfall. This is important, you see, because . . . , well, because . . . , um, . . . , listen, I shouldn't really have to explain this to you. Everybody knows it's important, right?

I have photographic evidence just in case you missed it. Here, look:

If you look really closely, you can see it.

Actually, I have a better picture of it. Check this out:


In an effort to measure the depth, I got a little closer. If you look carefully, I think you can tell that it would probably come up to an ant's butt, though the ground is not yet fully covered.

But just wait. It will be.

In other news, I've done a re-design to my author website. The pictures that come up on the header, as well as the picture on the "about C H Cobb" page, are from Doris' and my trip to Colorado in 2010. I've also added a "Buy" button, enabling a visitor to purchase a copy of Outlander Chronicles: Phoenix right on my website.

The overhaul of the web site will continue, and I'll be adding additional pictures from our trip to Colorado over time.

I've been making great headway on my Psalm 90 devotional commentary, A Prayer of Moses the man of God, as well as Falcon Down. Both books should be coming out on a late-winter/early-spring time frame.

I've finally convinced Doris to begin marketing her sketches in the form of notecards. Stay tuned: she has a web site (it's under development right now) on which her artwork, and that of her sister, will be displayed. As soon as it's ready, we'll let you know how to find it.

The script for the Caraway Christmas Children's Church production has been re-written, based on an original script by Ron Solomon. It's going to be a lot of fun. It's about three bad guys who try to steal Christmas from Caraway Street. There's a great message to it, packed in with a lot of humor and featuring the Caraway puppets. Anyone want to guess who the three bad guys are? You won't want to miss this, it will be performed in the December 23rd worship service at Bible Fellowship.

Maybe we'll even have snow!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Now what?

I set up my TV trays in front of the television, one for my laptop, the other for necessaries (snacks!). I had my Crunch-Munch. I developed a really cool Excel spreadsheet that would enable me to model possibilities as the vote tallies came in—it even turned the states red or blue to reflect who was winning!

A presidential election is supposed to be all about competing ideas, competing visions for the country. Watching it happen can be a little like watching an Apollo mission: seeing the mighty Saturn V go from the ignition sequence, through the full-power throttle-up, then slowly clearing the gantry, accelerating to where it finally disappears as a smoke-trail in the blue, full of hope and possibility. Or it can be like watching a horrific auto accident in slow motion, as though it was a bad dream.

If you give me the choice between watching an election, or watching the Super Bowl in which the Bronco’s are playing, I’ll pick the political game every time. I love listening to the analysts and watching intelligent people debate opposing positions. I like to watch the numbers come in. It’s like watching 50 competitions go on simultaneously.

So I raced to get my chores done, ran out and voted, then plopped down to watch Fox until the wee hours of the morning.

Only it wasn’t necessary. If I hadn’t been in shock I could have turned my TV off by 10PM, because it was clearly over by then. As it was, I think I was in bed by midnight.

A bad dream. I just watched a nation drive willingly, intentionally, over the cliff and now for the rest of my life I will observe, and be a part of, it’s agonizingly slow free-fall. In my children’s generation, or perhaps my grandchildren’s generation, it will hit the rocks at the bottom.

There is a light at the end of this tunnel, so I’ll save my good news for the end of this post. First, a few observations:
  • The election was not stolen. It was won fair and square. That, at least, is a relief.
  • The election was not close. That too, is a relief, in that it protects the country from useless litigation.
  • November 2012 marks the end of the American Experiment, Part One. What the founders established is no more. The country has reached the tipping point, and has, in fact, tipped. The voters who value financial security and free stuff over liberty and economic opportunity are now the majority, and we’ll never recover from this, on a national scale. A population educated in government, unionized schools lacks the necessary intellectual grid and understanding of history to perceive where the progressives are leading the country.
  • November 2012 marks the beginning of the American Experiment, Part Two. The experiment is this: is a socialist welfare state a sustainable model of governance? Unfortunately, the question resembles a high school chemistry class exercise. No one in high school runs an experiment the outcome of which is not already well-documented and understood. At least, not intentionally; from time to time there are a few explosions and fires from experiments gone awry. Anyway, the results of this new American experiment are already available: statism produces Europe. On one pole of the spectrum of results is Nazi Germany (the “Fatherland”), on the other pole is the Soviet Union (the “Motherland”), and located in the middle is the intellectual political offspring, Europe. Think, Greece. France. Italy. Britain. The one thing the poles and the middle share is that they are all the result of statism, big government. One, big, unhappy family.
  • The progressive vision can be understood by the Obama campaign’s amazingly clear portrayal of Julia, the woman whose hope and help is government. The really distressing thing to me is that this clearly expounded vision is actually attractive to the majority of voting Americans.
  • Conservatism as a national political force is dead. It does not matter that the vote totals were low. We already knew the results of the policies of the incumbent, and the economic track record of the challenger. National conservatism is dead because never, ever, ever, will there be an ideologically pure conservative on the ticket. Some group, some position, some policy will always go unrepresented. Conservatives have displayed that they will hand over the presidency (again) to a socialist rather than vote for a more conservative choice if their particular issue is not represented. It is highly unlikely that social and fiscal conservatives will ever again band together in sufficient numbers to outvote the “my government loves me and cares for me” crowd on a national scale.
  • The GOP will continue under the control of the RINOs, and remain the party of “slightly less big government.”
  • The only hope for conservatism is on a state and local level. Some states will remain conservative, while California, New York, and other progressive-controlled states will hit the rocks at the bottom of the fiscal cliff, and serve as sobering reminders to the rest of the states. It won’t matter on a national scale, but it will at the state level.
  • Business, use of natural resources, and economic opportunity will flood to conservative states. However the federal government will enact regulatory schemes that make it difficult to flee the progressive states. Unions, as an arm of the progressive national government will also work to prevent this. Boeing’s difficulty starting a plant in South Carolina is the evidence that this trend is already happening.
  • In sum, the America of Jefferson, Madison, Adams and Washington is gone and won’t be coming back.
Now here’s the good news for true Christians.
  • As believers, our true citizenship is in a kingdom that is coming. America is our Babylon, folks, not the New Jerusalem. We aren’t in the promised land, we’re in exile.
  • We must continue exercising the political stewardship we have been granted, but we must not pin our hopes on it. We need to take our cues from Jeremiah’s instructions to the captives in Babylon: ‘And seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare’ (Jeremiah 29:7, NASB). But Babylon is a place from which God's people were finally delivered, and which was finally destroyed. Babylon provides the figure in Revelation of the doomed city, overthrown by Christ.
  • The election of Barak Obama is the best possible outcome for the church, because it helps us disentangle ourselves from that corrupting confusion which associates “conservative American” with “Christian.” America was founded in a distinctly Western Judeo-Christian milieu. But we are today a secular state more friendly to Islam, Hustler, and Homosexuality than we are to Christianity.
  • The church always has more difficulty handling prosperity than it does persecution and distress. The future America will help us keep our eyes, and our hope, on Christ, not on Babylon and its pretenders.
  • Our role is to help liberals, conservatives, progressives, Democrats, Republicans, homosexuals, prostitutes, the poor, the proud, the addicted and the broken pick up the shattered pieces of their lives as they suffer in a fallen world, pointing them to the one true answer for all people and all time: Jesus Christ and His atoning work on the Cross.
  • Finally, we must model the hope of the resurrection by truly making the resurrection our hope. Our hope is not in a conservative America, nor a small government, nor low taxes, nor economic prosperity. It’s in Christ, and it always has been, no matter who is sitting in the Oval Office.
I took two vacation days to watch this debacle. Thankfully, I got some chores done that made it a worthwhile consumption of time off. And it helped set my thinking straight. All in all worth it, I suppose. I haven't lost my hope; I've regained it. Yeah, it was worth it.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

It's almost time to take your stand as a citizen

You have a privilege and a responsibility if you are a citizen of this great country. The privilege is to vote for the leader of this nation; the responsibility is step into the voting booth as an informed citizen.

Tuesday is the day most of us will exercise that franchise.

I will be pulling the lever for Romney and Ryan, and I won't be holding my nose when I do it. It's not simply a vote against Obama and the socialist vision he represents. It's a vote for what Romney and Ryan represent.

Neither Romney nor Ryan represent the faith to which I suscribe, and Obama certainly does not. But Romney and Ryan will be civic (not religious) leaders, and their view and vision of how an economy works, their concern for the federal debt, their belief in individual responsibility, their belief in religious freedom, their belief in a small, non-intrusive federal government, their position on states rights, and American exceptionalism, and a host of other reasons have convinced me to vote, enthusiastically, for them.

It's not a vote for the Republican party. It's a vote for a conservative view of government, economy, and the social life of America. It's been some time since I considered myself a Republican, but I've always owned the label "conservative."

Get out and vote this Tuesday. May God bless, and preserve, America.