Aloha to my Facebook Ohana 12

I did three shortened tours in the Navy in Hawaii and had some of my greatest and worst life experiences while I was there. One word that comes to mind when I think of Hawaii and the subject of this post is Ohana.

From Wikipedia: “Part of Hawaiian culture, ʻ ohana means family (in an extended sense of the term, including blood-related, adoptive or intentional).The concept emphasizes that families are bound together and members must cooperate and remember one another.”

This is for my Facebook Ohana.

Some things are harder to do than others. I quit smoking many years ago when I finally got past the excuse of “I just like the way it feels to smoke” and realized it was cutting my life short. At my age, I also know that I no longer have the ability to eat and drink anything I want since there are obvious negative consequences. For some unfair reason, my body no longer metabolizes all of the things I wish to consume and my physical appearance and health reflect that.

One of the addictions I have been struggling with for some time now is Facebook.

It all started so innocently. I wasn’t going to spend much time on it but it was an easy way to connect with old friends from the Navy and High School. (My college friends were almost all navy since it was a program that was run through Navy Campuses). In the years since I have been a member of Facebook, I have seen three Presidents, more changes in Congress than I can count, and uncounted upheavals to society caused by movements and tragedies. The daily barrage from Facebook from friends and people who I do not know has probably helped shape my opinions and certainly stoked my emotions more than a few hundred times.

Facebook has been like a family in many ways.

We love, we fight, we remember each other’s birthdays, we share our sadness at the loss of a loved one (including our beloved animals). We argue, we agree, we find common ground, we are divided. We share our inmost personal beliefs and concerns with perfect strangers (sometimes at the expense of our actual families). In all that time and all of the thousands of postings, I am absolutely convinced that no ones mind’s were really changed no matter how witty, how sincere, how passionate, or how mean a post was.

I have (as of March 28th, 2018) over 970 friends. I used to have over a thousand but some have left my “family” in silence. To be fair, I have also banished some along the way.  Perhaps it was something I said? Or maybe something they posted? Probably a bit of both.

Facebook has been convenient for me to achieve some personal goals.

I administer a number of pages about submarines, reunions, cats, World War 2 History (which is a passion) and I used it for my business. Truth be told, I have never actually gotten one sale from FB but that may be just as much about my service as it is about the ability to sell my service. To be fair, I have had some satisfaction also. My submarine and lean blog has had many of its nearly 370,000 readers come from postings on Facebook. Maybe that’s why you came today.

You have shared parts of your lives and your travels and I have done the same. I am glad for those who made my life richer from their stories. The part I have really loved about Facebook has been my ability to listen as much as I want to and when it becomes to long winded, I can click off and go to another story. That beats the hell out of the Thanksgiving Day table after dinner where the only escape you have from a long winded or too often repeated old story is to feign sleep or the need to get up and stretch at the earliest possible break in the action.

Darkness fell

In the last couple of weeks (or has it been months), I have noticed that FB has become a very dark place. I’m not just talking about Mr. Zuckerburg comparing his site to the new Church or the nefarious dealings of people who have harvested and misused our personal data. I honestly believe both of those things happen with such regularity now that they are commonplace in many arenas.

The darkness comes from within me. I am angry about things that I can’t control most of the time and I am failing to do the positive things that I believe that are required of us as humans and certainly of someone who claims to follow Christ.

So I am going to take some time off. On April 1st, all of my FB pages that I have created will go dark. I will clean up my computer and I Phone and delete any links to the site. I am sure that the world will not come to a stop.

April 1st this year is the day we celebrate Easter. The Resurrection of the Living God. A time of redemption for all who wish to follow Him. It seems like as good a day to get a restart as any.

See the source image

I will miss many people that truly have become family (some for the second time). You will all be in my prayers. If you need to get in touch with me, you can still email me at bobmac711@live.com or you can visit the leansubmariner web site at www.theleansubmariner.com

There are over 600 stories on the page now and I intend to continue to write as long as I have another story left in me.

It has been amazing over the years to share so much with so many people on Facebook. I am grateful for the prayers you have sent our way through many of those years. I hope to meet you again someday. Until then, I leave you with one of my favorite words; Aloha.

Aloha, I have been told, has three meanings.

Hello, Goodbye and I love you.

Seems like the most fitting word for this day.

Bob

Aka Mister Mac

 

Christ is Risen 3

In the craziness that surrounds us, it is good that there is a constant… for over 2000 years, Christians around the world have woken on the day designated to remind them of His sacrifice and have been reminded of the ultimate gift of love.

He took the sins of the world with him to the cross and they have been buried in that tomb.

holy_trinity-1

and on the third day, He arose the dead, ascended unto Heaven and sitteth on the Right Hand of God the Father.

From thence He shall judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen

He died so that we might live.

Hallelujah

Mister Mac

Rise again… 5

This week, Christians all over the world are celebrating the holiest of all days, a day which is set aside to remember the Resurrection of the Christ. This day reminds us that there is an ultimate victory for those who are part of the faith… the victory of life over death.

Like many people, I have been conflicted a lot lately with the seemingly out of control growth of evil and the painful destruction of the American dream. Freedom seems to be challenged more and more by an overreaching government fueled by an unrelenting populace of “me-first” voters.

Success by individuals is now considered a horrific sin against the less talented or ambitious. This has given some in power a large whipping post with which to distract people from their true intentions.

There was a song written back in the late sixties and released under many covers which has been running around inside my head. “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” was about the fall of the Confederacy in 1865.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Night_They_Drove_Old_Dixie_Down

Written by ‘The Band” it was later released by Joan Baez in 1971 which means it was playing on my radio for months and months during the most formative years I can remember in my life.

Surrender_of_a_Confederate_Soldier_-_Smithsonian_American_Art_Museum

Up until that point in my life I was pretty insulated from the real world other than what I read in magazines and newspapers (when I actually read that is). The Vietnam war had peaked, I was not quite old enough to serve yet and my family history included a Great Grandfather who was on the Yankee side during the Civil War.

By 1973 I found myself living in the south in Charleston SC and I got my first taste of the loss so many people still felt.

Charleston was a more progressive city but there were still Rebel flags flying from buildings and homes all around the area. Segregation was being phased out but in the further reaches in the country it was still alive and well. The one phrase you heard a lot though was that “The South Shall Rise again”.

347px-1893_R&DRR_FC&PRR

I did not quite understand that notion in those days.

Why would anyone want to separate themselves from the United States? I could only see things through the prism of a boy from the north who had read the history of the rise of the United States post Civil War. The rise of the railroads, expansion of our territory, the powerful industrial revolution that changed our status and the success of the world in beating back tyranny not once but twice in two world wars. None of these could have happened without the mighty force of a unified country and all of its resources.

What made her the power that she was included those resources bonded by an overreaching sense that America was something special in the halls of nations. Our giant melting pot produced giants and opportunities by blending together the unique flavors and abilities of people from all over the world. People came here to be free and to try their hand at success. “I am going to America” meant that you had the gumption to want to live in a land with few restrictions but fewer things that supported the less ambitious.

From the earliest days, the hallmark of America was freedom. With freedom comes risk. That risk however still equated to boundless opportunities.

Some succeeded and some failed. The common thread was that all had the choice to try.

Today, that freedom is being rapidly choked off in the name of “fairness”.

I don’t need to go into every law and regulation that is being used. If you are here, you already know those things well. America as we know it is nothing more than a well written and colorful puppet show compared what it once was. An illusion of its former greatness. The Republic has been sold to the lowest bidders and we are all part of the sham led by men and women with less than honorable intentions.

The loss started for me the night Barack and Joe stood on the stage and said change was here. I am sure it actually started much longer ago than that but watching two men with horrible records stand on that stage indicated a loss of liberty and freedom. Long before Obamacare, long before the assault on freedoms in general, and long before they indicated that I was the enemy because of my beliefs, I knew America was on its last journey. The violence in the cities is growing out of control and will soon come to a theater or drive in near you. Oh wait, it already has.

Can we rise again?

I don’t know. I’m getting old. I have fought a good fight and contributed my love and labor to what I believed in. Maybe it doesn’t matter. Nations have come and nations have gone. Nations that turn their back on the Creator have traditionally been found in the ash heap of history. There is only one freedom left that I am willing to give my life for… freedom to worship my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Watch for the signs. Tyrants fear people who have no fear and people who are Christian Soldiers are the most feared of all. We have no fear because we have been assured that we will rise again and there is nothing in this world or the next that tyrants can do to regulate that. That fact alone is why at some point they will try and control those who believe in the Word.

I continue to ask God to Bless America.

There is still a small amount of hope in me formed form years of travelling across this great land and meeting some very committed people. But just as Lot and his wife were warned, when the pillars of flame descend on Sodom and Gomorrah, do not look back. The people who denied God and chose to live in ways that were abhorrent to him will pay a price that will be impossible to overcome.

Mister Mac

    • Virgil Caine is the name and I served on the Danville train
    • ‘Til Stoneman’s cavalry came and tore up the tracks again
    • In the winter of ’65, we were hungry, just barely alive
    • By May the tenth, Richmond had fell It’s a time I remember, oh so well
      The night they drove old Dixie down
    • And the bells were ringingThe night they drove old Dixie down
    • And the people were singing
    • They went, "La, la, la"

 

  • Like my father before me, I will work the land
  • And like my brother above me, who took a rebel stand
  • He was just eighteen, proud and brave, but a Yankee laid him in his grave
  • I swear by the mud below my feet
  • You can’t raise a Caine back up when he’s in defeat

How well is your path marked? 1

I remember growing up in a small community in Western Pennsylvania where the suburbs were just blooming surrounded by trees and fields.

Summer 2011 003

The sixties were a time of growth for this area and the mills and mines that filled the valleys were running at full tilt to provide the raw materials that make up a nation. Our street was an extension from an older community that had stretched its boundaries and every house was made up of sturdy sticks, bricks and mortar.

Mac Family on front porch

Every day it seemed like another new house was popping up from the ground like crocus flowers in the spring. The sound of hammers and saws filled the air all summer long as new faces joined our little neighborhood. The number of kids swelled too as the baby boom really hit its peak. There were very few houses that did not have kids and we all found our own ways to share the natural adventures of the area.

The woods behind the Hughes house were the starting point for so many of those adventures. Undeveloped and built on sloping hills, these woods hosted forts, caves, and most importantly trails that we spent hours and hours developing. From my earliest memories of this time, extending the paths was a mission as well as a joy.

There is an art to building a trail that must have been intuitive for us. You didn’t want to venture too far too fast or the return trip would be too difficult. A line of us would form on the old existing trailhead and we would start beating a path through the brush. Any number of obstacles would be in your path including the easier green shoots of native tall plants and the much harder thickets of jagger bushes. Following the terrain of the hill was important so that you avoided running your trail into a blind hollow that would be difficult to return on.

Barriers or opportunities?

Fallen trees offered themselves up as bridges over the many streams that poured down from the hills since the Indians walked there. These same trees formed the small temporary forts that would protect us from any enemies who might come to attack our party. Hearty sticks made excellent walking aides or could be used to spar against each other in mock combat. Later, they would be used as rifles to beat back attacking Germans or Japanese that had been magically transported from the dark days of World War 2.

Making it back home for dinner was important. Especially making it back home when you heard the old bell in our backyard that Dad had mounted on a steel pole. The bell was from one of the fire trucks that he took in trade for the shiny new Mack’s that he sold. You knew that when the bell rang, you only had so much time to get home before you would be in trouble.

Joh Receiving award

The path had to be well marked as well as clear of obstacles. Each kid would have to independently be able to find their way up and down the main trail as well as the outgrowth trails that led to the clay mines or to the valley where the old dump trucks sat rusting. There were short cut trails too that worked great going down the hill but presented real challenges going up. One wrong move coming back up and you would have a new rip in your pants that would require explaining. Worse yet, a fresh wound on our legs from falling could result in a restriction on the next day’s adventure.

Marking the trails was important but following the marks was critical. We tried a lot of different techniques that we learned in scouts. Marking trees was okay for a season but the marks seemed to vanish when the season was done. Next year’s progress was always slowed by the hunt for the marks. Plus, this required a knife or axe and it took us a while to have enough sharp instruments to be of any use.

We followed this routine all the way up until we discovered the difference between boys and girls. Suddenly, the adventures of the deepest woods no longer held the same attraction as the careful interplay between these new found differences and likes. The woods simply grew back one year and we all followed different paths. The patterns were still there in our minds as we tested new paths and went new places. Sadly, in most cases, we went by ourselves or found new companions.

I never lost the lessons though.

  • Mark the trail going both ways… sometime you will want to return
  • Make sure of your footing as you go
  • Be aware of the obstacles that might keep you from succeeding
  • Path’s can’t always go in a straight line in life but you can get your destination if you think it through
  • Plan accordingly so you can get back home in time when the bell rings
  • Listen to each other and share your learning as you go
  • Short cuts can have unintended consequences

The most important lesson was that not having the adventure is the greatest loss of all.

I suppose we could have sat in our game rooms and played with the electronic gizmos that are popular now. In retrospect, we might have avoided a few cases of poison ivy and a few broken arms. But we would have never learned to look for poisonous plants or understand the consequences of taking unnecessary risks (that did not involve an artificial electronic penalty of some kind that erases as fast as hitting an on/off switch)

How about you? How well have you marked your trails?

This is the season where many people of the Christian faith will be reflecting that very question. I am home again after nearly forty years of blazing my own trail. I have contemplated going over to the house on Duncan Station where the old trial head began and asking for permission to go through the woods again. It would be interesting to see if I actually have learned very much in the years since I left or if I would end up lost in the woods.

Summer 2011 004

Mister Mac

Waiting 1

“And on the third day, he arose again from the dead.”

This blog is for those of us who are believers in the Judeo-Christian stories of how we came to be where we are today. For those who came looking for something else, feel free to take the day off. I’ll wish you a Happy Easter now.

Time keeps on ticking, ticking, into the future

 
 
For those of you who will be sticking it out until the end, I had a dream last night about the word “Waiting”.

Of all the infirmities that have ever been inflicted on mankind, I would say that the concept of time has to be one of the most annoying. Imagine living in the Garden of Eden and there was no such thing as the concept of time. You were free to do whatever you wanted (within limits of course) and time had no significance for you in any way.

The garden

The serpent had other plans though. Only one tiny idea filled his tiny little brain. How do you get these bipeds to come down to your level? They probably had no knowledge that there was any significance  in their physical differences before the fruit found its way into their hands. Then came that day when they disobeyed and God decided that they should be cast out of the garden.

My feeling is that the knowledge they acquired included the first time they were aware of “time”.

Waiting

From that first day, they were introduced to waiting. Waiting for the crops to grow. Waiting for the storms to pass. Waiting for news of a great battle. Waiting is a central theme all through the Bible.

Ecclesiastes 3
A Time for Everything

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent 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 do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

15 Whatever is has already been,
and what will be has been before;
and God will call the past to account.[b]

16 And I saw something else under the sun:

In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,
in the place of justice—wickedness was there.

17 I said to myself,

“God will bring into judgment
both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a time for every activity,
a time to judge every deed.”

18 I also said to myself, “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. 19 Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath[c]; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. 20 All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. 21 Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”

22 So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after them?

What a great set up. What a curse. Once you know about time, it rules your life.

Frozen in time

What are you waiting for today? Is there an alternative to waiting?

The bad news is that the system is rigged and you can’t escape the time dimensions we have built to support our state of being. For those of you who live in an area that has “Daylight Savings Time” you have the greatest physical reminder of this trap. How many clocks do you have to turn back or forward? Your house, your car, your watches, your office, your Church… thank goodness somebody figured out a way for computers and all of our other little electronic toys to turn themselves.

The good news is that the wait is almost over

When Christ rose from the dead, He defeated sin. He beat the clock. Most importantly, He promised He would be back. You don’t need to worry or fret about when that is because if He lives in your heart, the wait is already over. All you have to do is ask, accept, believe and the curse of time will be limited to the physical parts of your life.

Matthew 27: 16-20

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Christ is Risen…

 

Mister Mac