Grow Up, Ben Affleck

"Ben Affleck 2008" by Gene Bromberg - benaffleck7-2-1. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ben_Affleck_2008.jpg#/media/File:Ben_Affleck_2008.jpg

“Ben Affleck 2008″ by Gene Bromberg – benaffleck7-2-1. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ben_Affleck_2008.jpg#/media/File:Ben_Affleck_2008.jpg

I saw where actor Ben Affleck tried using his influence as a “megastar” to hide details about a slave-owning ancestor on a PBS show. The fact that he had a slave-owning ancestor has nothing to do with what he is today.

A search of my family ancestry revealed that I had at least two ancestors that owned slaves but that was almost 200 years ago and has nothing to do with the man I am today. A search of my ancestry on the other side reveals that I had an Indian grandmother who was found in the woods by white people who raised her. She may have been a Seminole Indian and she may have been part black. If this was the case, in the 1800s, I would have had to be classified as black and not been able to vote.

I do not try to hide my ancestry. There are plenty of people on both sides to be proud of, and, yes, there are some of which to be ashamed.

Read Jesus’ lineage in the Bible. You will find a prostitute (Rahab), an adulterer and a murderer (David), a liar (Jacob), as well as a man who got his daughter-in-law pregnant (Judah) and wicked kings who disobeyed God, We should not be ashamed of who we are or what our ancestors did.

I think that it is a cruel thing that there were slaves then and there are slaves now. I think that it is cruel that anyone is ever mistreated but I cannot deny my ancestors, no more than I can deny any crazy family members I have now. I am no better than anyone else, and I am definitely nowhere near as good as Jesus Christ, who had ancestors who would make most people cringe.

My message to Ben Affleck would be to grow up because you are no better than anyone either, even if you are a big millionaire megastar.




On December 8, 2011, Jacob Bembry went into cardiac arrest at work. Co-workers called 911 and began CPR. When EMS arrived, Bembry was clinically dead but thanks to great work by them and a miracle from God, he was revived. At the hospital, doctors gave little hope that he would survive, and if he did, he would never be the same again and could go through life with brain damage -- but God was not through working miracles.
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I Don’t Believe in Karma

Photo courtesy of George Hodan, http://publicdomainphotos.net

Photo courtesy of George Hodan, http://publicdomainphotos.net

I don’t believe in karma.

Karma says that good things happen to people if they are good or do good things and bad things happen to people if they are bad or do bad things. The Bible tells us in Matthew 5:45 that God “maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”

How many people do you know who have done bad things that always seem to have everything they need. How many good people do you know or have known that suffer ill health or have died hideous deaths from terrible diseases like leukemia, diabetes, heart disease, muscular dystrophy, etc.? Sure, there are consequences if we do wrong things or make mistakes but many times things happen that we don’t know why it happens. We can’t attribute these things to karma.

On a Thursday about 2,000 years ago, Jesus sat down with His apostles and ate what we call His Last Supper. He took the role of a servant and washed the apostles’ feet, including those of Judas Iscariot who would betray Him for 30 pieces of silver. Just think, a King who was God Himself in the flesh as man, humbling Himself and washing the nasty dirty feet of His followers, including Judas. The next day, He died on a Cross for their sins and for our sins.

That is Grace, my friends. It is the Grace that says anyone, not matter how bad or good they are, or how poor or rich they are, can be saved. Remember the thief on the cross. He was bad but he found acceptance into God’s Kingdom through the grace of Jesus Christ.

No, I don’t believe in karma. I do believe in casting your bread upon the waters. (Ezekiel 11:1) I also believe that sin and death entered the world when Adam and Eve ate of the fruit in the Garden of Eden and sometimes bad things, even death, happen to good people. As Christians, we are saved by grace and not by works. (Ephesians 2:8-9) but as Christians, we should do good things for others because “we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10, NLT)

I believe in Jesus Christ as the atoning perfect sacrifice for my sins and I believe that one day, all those who believe in Christ as their Savior will be rewarded in Heaven as they lay down the burdens of the cross they bore on this Earth and exchange it for a crown.




"I did not see the light during my near death experience. Either I did not see it or I do not remember it," so begins Jacob Bembry's book "Higher Call." The book is a collection of columns and thoughts he has had, whether it be about the day that he died and was brought back through the miracle working power of Christ, or a story about his mentally-challenged sister, Abbie, riding an elephant at the circus. The book is packed with Bembry's thoughts. Some are deep, some are challenging and some are funny. The theme woven through the columns is God's love towards us. There is something for everyone in the book. Meet Bembry, a graduate of Florida State University, who is the editor of two weekly newspapers in Madison, Florida, and the caretaker for his sister, Abbie, his elderly father and his physically disabled brother, Danny.
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Blooms

Photo by Karen Arnold, http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=86114&picture=pink-flowers-blossom

Photo by Karen Arnold, http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=86114&picture=pink-flowers-blossom

Unknown flowers shoot forth as blooms egally in the midst of trees to the east of my house. An army of dandelions falls into formation and salutes the few flowers that rank high above them.

How many times do we find ourselves bowing and scraping to things that seem so elusive and seem to possess so much magic that we lose focus on what is really important? We dream of taking that vacation to far, far away. We dream of having that sports car that will be the envy of all of our friends. We dream of diamonds and Rolex watches and fancy clothes.

It’s nice to dream, but while we are feeding these dreams, are we starving our relationships with Jesus Christ and our families and friends?

The Bible tells us that it’s more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35) and everyone has at least one thing they can give and that gift is love. Give it out of a heart of selflessness to those people who are hard to love. It may be torture for you to do it. You may be persecuted for doing it. The people you give your love to may hurt you and make you regret ever giving the gift, but  remember you are not doing it for yourself. You’re showing them true Christian love for themselves. In time, God will remember you and will bless you.




"I did not see the light during my near death experience. Either I did not see it or I do not remember it," so begins Jacob Bembry's book "Higher Call." The book is a collection of columns and thoughts he has had, whether it be about the day that he died and was brought back through the miracle working power of Christ, or a story about his mentally-challenged sister, Abbie, riding an elephant at the circus. The book is packed with Bembry's thoughts. Some are deep, some are challenging and some are funny. The theme woven through the columns is God's love towards us. There is something for everyone in the book. Meet Bembry, a graduate of Florida State University, who is the editor of two weekly newspapers in Madison, Florida, and the caretaker for his sister, Abbie, his elderly father and his physically disabled brother, Danny.
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Enchanting Echoes

I can still hear the echoes of old friends through the years. Those echoes enchant me.

I can still hear the echoes of old friends through the years. Those echoes enchant me.

The enchanting echoes of friends’ voices and laughter beckons like a siren’s call from years past. Visions of their faces bring a smile to my face as I imagine each one speaking to me.

Along with the smile, there are tears and heartaches to go with them. Friends, who should be long gone, still remain, while some of them, who should still be here, have left for their homes in Eternity.

Seminole fans or Gator fans and black or white, we all knew what it meant to call each other friend and to mean what we said. We all knew that we were loved by our parents, our brothers and sisters, and we knew what it meant to be there for each other.

Each of us became a success in some way.  Some became business owners, some fighter pilots, some Marines, some journalists, some worked for cruise lines, some engineers, some doctors, some farmers and some nurses. Many became husbands, wives and parents. God has not blessed me with that but He has blessed me in many other ways.

Looking back through the years, I realize that God has been with me every step of the way. He has guided me. He has reached down to pick me up when I have fallen and failed Him. He has given me more than enough to survive through the years.

As I look back on photos from high school, I know that my stomach is not as flat and as hard as it once was. I know that life has gotten harder since high school. They have helped me grow, not only wiser in wisdom but stronger in my faith. These times of trials and testing bring me to my knees and even make me question my faith at times, but I learn time and time again that like the Bible says, God will not fail me nor will He forsake me.




"I did not see the light during my near death experience. Either I did not see it or I do not remember it," so begins Jacob Bembry's book "Higher Call." The book is a collection of columns and thoughts he has had, whether it be about the day that he died and was brought back through the miracle working power of Christ, or a story about his mentally-challenged sister, Abbie, riding an elephant at the circus. The book is packed with Bembry's thoughts. Some are deep, some are challenging and some are funny. The theme woven through the columns is God's love towards us. There is something for everyone in the book. Meet Bembry, a graduate of Florida State University, who is the editor of two weekly newspapers in Madison, Florida, and the caretaker for his sister, Abbie, his elderly father and his physically disabled brother, Danny.
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Licorice Gumdrops

Gumdrops, including black licorice ones. Photo courtesy of http://www.candywarehouse.com/assets/item/large/inset-125800.jpg

Gumdrops, including black licorice ones. Photo courtesy of http://www.candywarehouse.com/assets/item/large/inset-125800.jpg

I’m not as crazy about gumdrops as I was as a kid. Back then, I loved their super sugary sweetness and paid no attention at all of what harm they might do my teeth. Now, I get a toothache when I think of eating one, although I will admit, around Easter some years, I throw caution to the wind and bite into a few of them. I ignore the fact that the dentist may have to take a bite out of my wallet but then the sugar rush and the sugar high sends me plummeting down the slippery slope and I realize that much processed sugar is not good for any man. As a kid, though, who paid attention to these warning signals?

One of my favorite gumdrops to eat was probably my least favorite gumdrop of all. Why did I eat it, then? Because it made me appreciate all the other gumdrops in the pack. This was the licorice gumdrop. It was the one that tasted both bitter and sweet. The reason it was one of my favorites was because it made all the other gumdrops taste better by comparison.

Do you like ugliness or beauty better? Do you like pain or pleasure better? Do you like people who are mean or nice better? Like that licorice gumdrop, we have to have the bad to really appreciate the good. One day, we will not have to have comparisons to appreciate beauty. How beautiful it will be when we leave the ugly sins of this world to go to Heaven and dwell in the presence of beauty with our Savior, Jesus Christ.




"I did not see the light during my near death experience. Either I did not see it or I do not remember it," so begins Jacob Bembry's book "Higher Call." The book is a collection of columns and thoughts he has had, whether it be about the day that he died and was brought back through the miracle working power of Christ, or a story about his mentally-challenged sister, Abbie, riding an elephant at the circus. The book is packed with Bembry's thoughts. Some are deep, some are challenging and some are funny. The theme woven through the columns is God's love towards us. There is something for everyone in the book. Meet Bembry, a graduate of Florida State University, who is the editor of two weekly newspapers in Madison, Florida, and the caretaker for his sister, Abbie, his elderly father and his physically disabled brother, Danny.
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New From: $7.38 USD In Stock
Used from: $10.05 USD In Stock