Last night we heard the news about our friend in Uganda who had been shot. It was early in the morning for them, but late at night for us. We were asked to pray for him since the hospital there in Jinja didn't have blood to supply Abe for what he had lost.

LaFonda and I knew him in 2006. He drove us all over the place and spent lots of time with us. Like our other friends in Africa, we cared for his well being.

Africa is such a violent place at times. It is a place where people die needlessly all of the time. People who are otherwise healthy will turn up with malaria and be dead a little time after that. Today, we have another jolt of that reality of the Africa we love.

Even though we are far away and we don't see everyone there as often as we would like to, we care deeply for them and hurt with them when they hurt.

The last time we were in Africa, I left LaFonda for a few more weeks while she finished up what we were doing. During that time, another of our friends died of Aids. I think it was the year prior to that when the lady we were supporting died in her village.


I've read articles that indicated that the Africans don't have any kind of respect for life. But, what I have found is that they don't have any respect for death. Death seems to be much more prevalent there than here in the States and most of it seems to be avoidable in some way and so it seems pointless.

We are going to miss Abe and we are full of sadness at his departure. But we also know that he has not died. Jesus said that even though he dies, he will still be living. He passed from life here to life there and he is resting and waiting with the others for our homecoming.

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This was the question asked of Jesus some 2000 years ago. It was in response to Jesus stating that he had come to bear witness of the truth. Earlier Jesus had stated that he, himself, is the truth.

This is a continuation of my recent blog about the meanings of words. Truth is one of those words. Of course, I am only speaking of English words. In other languages, there may not be a problem like in English.

The problem as I see it starts with defining truth as the confirmation of a fact. You see, I see the truth as an interpretation of a fact. The opposite of the truth is a lie. The opposite of a fact is fiction. Fiction isn't a lie, while a lie could be referred to as fiction.

The difference between fiction and lying is the intent. I am lying if my intent is to deceive. So, if I tell fiction for the purpose of deceiving, then my fiction is lying.

This applies to the truth and facts. Facts can be used to deceive. When they are, they are not the truth even though they are factual. Facts can be presented in such a way that they are lies. So, truth and facts are not the same thing.

We see facts used as lies in the media, advertising and when people talk to each other. A person will swear that something is the truth. It can actually be a fact. But, when that fact is representing a lie, it is not the truth.

Truth can be presented by facts or by fiction. A fiction story can result in the hearer understanding the truth of a matter. Presenting a line of facts can lead a person to a truthful conclusion. So, facts are not necessary to know or to find the truth.

My point in all this is to say that knowing a list of facts does not guarantee that we know the truth. It is the same as knowing a person. To know facts about the person is not knowing the person.

As an example, lets say that I went to the store with Clyde and bought some screws. When we returned home from our trip to the store, Clyde was approached by Edna. She asked him, "Did you pick up some milk at the store?" His answer, "They didn't have any milk," a fact. But it was also misleading. Since I experienced the facts with Clyde, I know the truth revealed by the facts. But those who only know the facts, don't know the truth.

If I read all I could about the President of the United States, I would have acquired a list of facts. But, without interacting with him in life, I won't know him. I could feel like I knew him after learning the facts. But, if I met him and lived life with him, I might find that I was seriously mistaken.

This applies to knowing God. Jesus came to bear witness to the truth. He claimed to actually be the truth. But, knowing facts about him, doesn't mean we know him. He is the truth and knowing facts about Jesus doesn't mean that we know the truth or that we know him. To know the truth and to know a person requires experiences that align with the facts. The resulting knowledge is the truth.

To know the truth about God is to know Jesus. Knowing the truth doesn't mean knowing facts. It means experiencing life with him. The facts are always there to read about and discuss. But the knowledge of the truth only comes as we involve our lives with his.

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Anyone who knows me knows that words are an important thing to me. But it is really the meaning of the word that matters. If I say, "I'm going shopping," it may mean something entirely different than if my wife says, "I'm going shopping." The result of my statement could take an hour or two depending on the distance I have to travel, while the result of my wife's statement could mean an all day excursion. The part of the sentence above that changes the result is the difference between what I consider to be "shopping" and what my wife considers to be "shopping". 

CAUTION!

This section may be difficult to follow
If you live for any number of years past ten, you are probably aware of words that have changed their meaning during your lifetime. If you are not past ten years of age, you are probably just not aware of the words that changed meaning during your lifetime. Sometimes the words change because they have fallen into the hands of a group of people who don't know of another way to say what they are saying, so they use a word that doesn't mean what they are saying to say it. The word changes meaning after it becomes common to use the word that way.

Some words are changed because it is to the advantage of some that they change. I once read an article where the person started out redefining some pretty common words and terms. Even though I didn't agree with what he was saying, I found myself being less disagreeable as he continued to use those phrases and words to make his point. The reason I was more agreeable is that the meanings only changed in my head and not in my person. He wasn't really saying what he was saying no matter how you looked at it.

Danger Over

Although this doesn't have anything to do with the last paragraph, it is a fun and convenient example. Tonight, LaFonda came home and told me that our friend wasn't feeling well, so she and her husband were not going to be coming over. The result of that was that we were, then, without a meal since she was bringing it. So LaFonda was going to go up and make one. I told her that a simple meal would be fine. Here is where the words come in. What does "simple" mean to you?

When I am home alone for dinner I want a simple meal. I will pull out some peanut butter and bread for a sandwich. I may have an apple and will certainly have something to drink. This will keep the dish usage down and the amount of preparation to a minimum. LaFonda came down after preparing her simple meal.

She brought one plate with a cluster of grapes in one corner (square plate), a pile of turkey breast in another corner towards the center, with a small bowl of fancy mustard in the actual corner. There was a small bowl of sliced bread and butter pickles in the opposite corner with a small pile of sliced cheese in the center. The final corner had some cream cheese with a salsa laid over it. We ate this with crackers. It was eye appealing, and satisfying. That is LaFonda's "simple" and my "simple" in a nut shell.

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This is just a note to solve a puzzle that has occurred between my daughters.

As it turns out, I have four daughters. Their names are (in order of appearance) Summer, Helen, AmberLee and MaShayla. As far as I know, though, only one of them has a blog. She would be Helen.

I love my daughters.

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Today, my daughter, who has her own blog site informed me that my previous blog posts are not very lively. In fact, Google advertisers chose my blog to advertise cremation services. I thought I was being positive, but somewhat on the serious side. It seems that when I want to type something out, something that is on my mind, it usually gets to be kinda serious. Although, there are humorous parts to it. But I don't know why Google thinks that I would attract people who would want cremation services.

I wonder if it is my age? I didn't mention any illnesses that I have or even those that my friends have. The one blog where I mentioned my friend who has lots of Saturdays doesn't mention why she has lots of Saturdays. So, how does a computer know what happened to her? Is that what happened? Google read my blog and decided that someone needs to be cremated? Wow! They're better than I thought. I'm sure they are going to get a lot of hints from this blog since I am mentioning illnesses and such. Hopefully, this isn't too much of a downer...

There are several possible things that I may be blogging about in the future. I just don't know exactly what they may be. I started this because it is good to have one when you are trying to sell things on line so that you can get found by the Google spiders. I am starting to sell things on line. I don't have much yet and I haven't really got set up in all the ways I should in order to be successful, but different things seem to take my time.

I made a web page artthemiddleman.com and wrote one article, http://www.squidoo.com/pistolsnprincesses. The article was to practice doing the things I have been learning to do on Wealthy Affiliates (The Wealthy Affiliate link will result in me getting paid if you follow it and purchase a membership) while I didn't really have anything yet to sell because I was waiting for my business name and my domain name. I have those three things now, so I should be writing my own article to lead potential travelers to my site so that they can go on luxury cruises, rent cars, get motels and such. It's a start.

I haven't earned any money yet. But, I only just started this last week. So, I am not disappointed. I am actually encouraged that I was able to get the things done that I have done.

Was that uplifting?

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Just a small note for today.

I always think about why those days when I was young seemed to be so long. A summer used to be a  VERY long time. Not any more.

Today, after getting back to work, since my 10 days off, I realized that the past ten days seemed like it was a month. When we took that trip across the Pacific from Mexico to Hawaii, it seemed like a very long time again. When I am at work and looking back to the time off, it seems like that was a life time. At work, the days all mix into one day as each day is the same.

Maybe it is the same day-to-day routine that makes life short. A year seems like a few short days because they are all the same. When I am not in those routines I experience the days of youth where each day is the beginning of a new adventure and not just another day going down the same roads to the same building, doing the same thing for several hours only to repeat the same thing the next day.

Saturdays with LaFonda are the times I look forward to and I hope to have more of them, more frequently as time goes on.


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