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Ah, The Presence

May 5, 2013
 
Ah, The Presence
 
    Those with indoor dogs know the importance of taking them out or letting them out. This task has been with me since our daughter moved home for a time in order to collect financial assets. Harlow is a mix breed rescued from one of the City of Atlanta Shelters. Unfortunately, she must have been horribly mistreated before being left with the shelter as her eyes held no spark and she cowered at the smallest sounds. Those eyes of a deep, dark brown gave no evidence of life or love.
    Katie says that it took about six weeks of love and care before Harlow would even come out of a corner. She would just sit there with no show of emotion. Well Harlow began to trust more and more, but still is skittish of unexpected noise and motion. She now jumps with joy when Katie enters the home.
    I like to take her out in early morn, before daylight, and late at night, not to mention two more times during the day for "breaks." There is not much activity on our street early and late, so there are not many distractions.
    Kiska, our Husky, loved the outside. When we brought her inside, it did not take long for her to get restless and want to go back out. She loved the outdoors. As far as I know, she never used her igloo dog house in the 14 years that we had her. Rain, hail, snow -- no matter what: she just stayed outside and loved it. She also adapted to the underground fence, most of the time, and stayed within the 5 acres of "free range."
    We have received much rain recently, so seeing that none was falling this morning brought a smile to both Harlow and I. The calm before dawn is welcomed and we walk along in our own little worlds. After finishing business this morning, as we were walking down the driveway, there was a stir in the trees caused by a gentle breeze. Every live tree now is covered in new growth and leaves, so even a slight breeze causes movement.
    The gentle breeze and the resulting sound of fresh green branches swaying and turning in the wind brought forth a reminder of the presence of the Holy Spirit. While I confess that the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life is not always acknowledged, thankfully I do receive these reminders at times. I can stand still, spread my arms  open wide, raise my eyes toward heaven, breath deeply and tingle with the joy of knowing that Holy Spirit is with me and that "My Redeemer Lives."
    For sure there are times when one is hit, full face, with adversity, with trials, with situations that we don't understand. There are times when we can't understand WHY. We can acknowledge that God has a perfect plan for each and everyone of us, but still can say: "why me?" "Don't you hear me when I pray?" "What's the story here?"
    I submit that all of us will function better and please God more if we will but  listen for the presence of the Holy Spirit - no matter what the circumstances - stand still, spread our arms open wide, look towards heaven, breath deeply, and become full of chill bumps knowing that the Holy Spirit dwells within us. Some might even burst forth in song. Some probably should not!!!! Some might just take a motorcycle ride and rejoice. :)
 
    Be a blessing to someone today.
 
John C. McGinn, Esq.
Vice Cow-Moo Cow Bikers
 

Look Around

April 28, 2013
 
Look Around
 
    It's been said that "Spring Has Sprung."  It happens every year -- no surprise there. But, how do you celebrate spring?
    Since I was a child in South Carolina, I remember Mama referencing spring cleaning. The only difference noticed here was that the windows went up and dust flew for a week or two. Items were moved, tables polished, clothes hung on the line a bit longer to get "fresh" saturated into the material, curtains were taken down and washed,  blankets were hung on the line and beat with a rod to attempt a riding of accumulated "stuff." We were always glad when it was over. Life began to be normal again.
    Men did not spring clean farm implements, tractors and things. Harness would usually be cleaned and saddle soaped during the winter or fall so as to keep it from cracking. Even if a tractor was in the farm yard, you never knew when the horses or mules would be used again.  Heck, spring was for plowing and planting around our house. Daddy thought that I needed to know how to plow and plant using animal power, so fairly young in life, I was introduced to Mollie and Byrd. Daddy would take Byrd and lay off the rows and I would follow with Mollie and plant. Always wanting to please Daddy, I did my best to learn and excel, but surely there was a ball game going on somewhere and I wanted to be there. After all, my plan was to play professional sports -- not plow fields. Hope "springs" eternal!!
    Spring meant "greening" on trees, grass, plants, flowers, weeds: a truly glorious time of year. Caution: it also meant poison oak sprung from the ground again, not to mention springing from the vines that climbed trees. Once I was able to recognize those dreaded three leaves, the irritating itching and poison blisters did not appear so often. But, at least once a year other thoughts distracted me from being watchful and the reddening of the skin was followed by blisters of poison, then itching and ozzing of poison as the blisters burst. We used old sheets to rip into strips, then wrap the area to soak up the poison. It did not matter what was used in an attempt to clear up the poison oak, it lasted two weeks. Once I had to drink soup through a straw, as the face was swollen so badly, the mouth would not open. Many offered remedies, but two weeks was the cure. Daddy's cure was to soak in the tub for a time, scratch the blisters raw, then pour salt onto the raw skin. The salt drew out the poison, and the problem was solved. I was never that much of a man! Two weeks for me. Understand that this was the same man who never used novocain when in the dentist chair.
    The years have gone by, but spring is still welcomed. We still have poison oak in the woods, but spray takes care of it. No horses or mules, just the small John Deere tractor, and it is trailered to a dealer for service. Way past due. The woods in Booger Bottom burst forth with azaleas, dogwood, wisteria, and..........pollen! Ugh, it gets worse every year. Or, possibly, this body doesn't defend itself as it once did.
    We enjoy the mating calls of the owls each spring. Often an owl will bless us by flying low and close-----possibly to take a look at us. Spring entertainment includes calling the owls. They always come close after a while. The generations must hear of the old country boy over in Booger Bottom who calls in the spring.
    Don't forget the pair of Red Tail Hawks too. They nest close by. That scream of the hawks -- I can't imitate that one, so we just appreciate seeing them when we can. Saturday, as we were standing outside talking to yard sale folk, the male gave us a show by flying low down the front walkway, then disappearing into the woods. Soon he was spotted sitting on the ground in the back yard. Unusual. He wanted to display his catch, as evidenced by the small animal he held, then carried into the trees of the swamp.
    How about spring yard sales? Cheryl did very well this year. That was a treat. My job was to lift and shuffle things. She did the marketing and the selling. The thing remembered from the yard sale, though, is the people you meet. Cheryl has new friends and stories to tell. That is a blessing. Its a joy to engage people. Not all act in good faith, but most are just out for some fun.
    When asked about "man" things, I just said: I have a motorcycle that you can have for $30,000.00 and a tractor that you can have for $10,000.00. That ends the conversation.
    When you are shining that chrome on the bike, or just waxing the plastic this spring, remember to put a shine on your heart as well as your exterior countenance. You are making impressions on others every day.
 
    Be a blessing to someone today.
    
     
John C. McGinn, Esq.

Vice Cow-Moo Cow Bikers
 

Bikers

April 21, 2013
 
Bikers
 
    "Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love respectful greetings in the market places, and chief seats in the synagogues, and places of honor at banquets, who devour widows' houses, and for appearance's sake offer long prayers; these will receive greater condemnation." Luke 20: 46 & 47.
    It's easy to say such things of politicians today. It has been said that you can recognize a politician  because his lips are always moving and his teeth are shining. Politicians are also the ones wearing the dark suits, as do those around them . Often those dark suits around them wear dark glasses so that no one will recognize them. HA!
    It has been said that we know who the enemy is. Respectfully, politicians of today, in general, certainly deserve no respect in the running of this country. No, today's politicians did not cause us to be where we are, but then, oh, too many of them were in office YEARS ago when the downslide began. America continues to elect those who will take from the makers and give to the takers. Only God can turn this ship around.
    Now stop and look at what happens when disaster strikes. Oh, politicians are quick to run to the front of the line, get in front of a camera, even call a press conference so that others will be sure to watch. They might even take that suit coat off for a moment and roll up a sleeve in an attempt to draw more attention to themselves. Spit, I say.
    The heroes of today are those who seek to assist others because "others" need help. Heroes don't seek the lime light. You might see leaders scurrying about checking on the progress of a joint effort. The effort might look something like an ant hill in full motion. Workers are coming and going, they are centered on a common goal, they are accomplishing much for the cause, but you don't see dark suits and dark glasses. (well bikers do tend to wear dark glasses)
    The Murphy-Harpst ride yesterday examples the efforts of Allen Hunt to assist the cause of improving young peoples' troubled minds. With loving care, a beautiful physical plant, rules of success, constant support in directing lives, young people can learn how to function in our society. There was a man on the ride yesterday who was in the program in his youth and who now owns his own electrical business. That is success.
    In contrast to many, Allen does not demand the spot light. Allen gathers people around him who respect the cause, who have skills, and will put those skills to work to accomplish the goal. The ride almost doubled in numbers from last year's inaugural ride. Sponsorships will grow as word gets out of this cause, as will the number of riders. Murphy-Harpst benefits from the joint effort--not Allen Hunt.
    We have the opportunity every day to support worthy causes.
    This past week I received a call from Charleston asking the Moo Cow Bikers to come and participate in a ride to support Patriots Point. "This is a Fund Raiser to benefit Patriots point and to bring awareness to a Charleston Veterans Memorial. ALL proceeds will go to Patriots Point and ALL Bikers are Encourages to Show Your Support for Our Veterans."
    Certainly a worthy cause. I explained that The Moo Cow Bikers have a long weekend trip planned to Pigeon Forge during that time slot. Of course, many of you might desire to go to Charleston for that worthy cause. www.ArmoredUp.org -give it a look.
    One can't help but be impressed with the passion this man has for the work of God and yet, the frustration he experiences in trying to bring the biker community of Charleston together. "It's hard to get them to work together." Bikers are like that. Everyone has his/her own cause.
    Note the sponsors of this ride: American Biker, Fulmer Law Firm, Hells Angels MC Charleston, and Warhorse Brotherhood MC.. Reputation of some of these groups precedes them. But, they are bikers supporting a cause. I've never ridden with Hells Angels MC. A new field to plow? Where does God want you and me?
    Inquiry: What are your thoughts on canceling Pigeon Forge and going to Charleston? Let me hear from you this week. Pigeon Forge will be a great weekend trip with lots of beauty, joy and laughter. Patriots Point has the potential to bring out terrorist, but also the potential to bring more bikers together. The bringing more bikers together is a stated goal of Moo Cow Bikers. What say you?
 
    Be a blessing to someone today.
    
John C. McGinn, Esq.
Vice Cow-Moo Cow Bikers
770 313 7129