Author Archives: Bill

09.22.2023 – They’re Not Too Old, Just Out of Season

There’s a lot of talk in the political world about being too old. We complain that senators and members of congress, the president and his chief rival, are too old to be doing what they are doing. Some think there ought to be a law against people who are too old running for elected office. I am not much for another law, but I get the point.

I had a birthday this week and am now two years past what the polls say is the most preferred upper age limit for candidates. Assuming no law passes before then, feel free to vote for me in next year’s presidential election, but I should warn you that I will decline to serve if elected. It’s not so much that I think I am too old to be president (I am), as it is that I am in the wrong season of life to be president. Or member of congress or senator or highway department commissioner.

The great J.I. Packer wrote his last book nine years ago at age 88.  He died at 94 having lost most of his eyesight but not his keen intellect and abiding Christian faith. That last book, all 99 pages of it, is one of his best, and he wrote many very good books. Finishing Our Course With Joy is about growing old and the seasons of old age. For his purposes he describes younger old age as ages 65-75, medium old age as 75-85, and oldest old age as 85 plus. He had made the journey into oldest old age by the time he wrote the book.  I am past the half-way point of young old age. I am getting close to being old! I am old.

Packer’s description of growing old is sometimes poignant, occasionally sad, but always rooted in the joy of knowing and being known by Christ.  Packer says the seasons of old age are marked by looking back and looking forward. They include continuing to serve and allowing ourselves to be served. As our bodies wear out, we are reminded of, and all the more anticipate, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.

Yes, we continue to serve and work, to produce and give, as we age – and as we are able.  But no longer as president or full-time pastor; now as grandparent and coach or mentor.  Now as a volunteer, thankful for the ability and privilege to give without regard to job title or income.

I am not so concerned that we are governed or hope to be governed by people older than I am – though I think that is a problem.  I am sad for those old people who want to be senator or president, member of congress or highway commissioner, out of season.  They are missing this good season of old age. Yes, as the Apostle says, “Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16 ESV)

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. I had a birthday this week. It is a very good season to be alive. Just not president.

09.15.2023 – “Never” is the easy part

The word “pundit” comes into its contemporary English usage from Sanskrit via the British Raj in colonial India.  According to the Wikipedia, “the term originates from the Sanskrit term pandit, meaning “knowledge owner” or “learned man”. It refers to someone who is erudite in various subjects…”

We refer to a pundit as someone who self-identifies as wise or knowledgeable and who shares his or her wisdom and knowledge with the world through newspaper columns, blogs, podcasts, or broadcast commentaries.  The Wikipedia article lists Al Franken, Bill Maher, Bill O’Reilly, Geraldo Rivera, Greta Van Susteren, Lou Dobbs, Rosie O’Donnell, and Rush Limbaugh as examples of pundits, which doesn’t make me want to trust pundits.

Anyway, the pundits, whoever they are, say that next year’s presidential election is most likely to pit the current incumbent against the most recent previous incumbent.  Not that we should believe all the pundits say, but if what they say is right, I have it easy.  My vote is already decided. No to both. Never the one and never the other. Continue reading

09.08.2023 – If the sun rises without a Facebook post…

I suppose it is a variation on the tree falling in a forest question, and I have to ask it of myself:  If I don’t post a photo of it on social media, is the sunrise still beautiful?  If you follow me on social media, you know that many of my posts consist of various photos of the sun rising over our neighborhood when I am out for a morning walk.  The method behind my sunrise madness has something to do with providing an alternative to secondhand opinions left and right or Baby Boom nostalgia (yes, I remember when phones had dials and Mick Jagger was young).

But I also post those morning photos because the sunrises really are beautiful and the extrovert in me needs to let somebody know.

I thought I showed remarkable restraint when I did not post a photo of the sunrise earlier this week.  Not as spectacular as some, nevertheless it was beautiful, and, besides, now I get to post it here.  It would have been a beautiful sunrise even if I never posted a photo of it.

You can google the tree in the forest question and find more answers than you want. Scientists tend toward the “yes” side of things, so long as they can define “sound,” and philosophers seem to gravitate toward “maybe.” Continue reading

09.01.2023 – Not the facts, Ma’am

First an apology to any non-Baby Boom readers who don’t recognize Sgt. Joe Friday of the LAPD or my play on his famous line.

In fact, Sgt. Friday asked for “Just the facts, Ma’am” and in every episode of the 50s TV show Dragnet he used those facts to prove who dunnit, whatever it was.

I thought of Dragnet and just the facts when I saw an ad for a set of free videos offered by a well-known Christian organization. We were encouraged to accept the offer and “get equipped with the facts and history that prove the Bible is true.”

Apparently, the presenter in the video series is a former police detective who uses his investigative skills to “prove” the truth of the Bible. Except that you can’t. Facts don’t prove the truth of the Bible. You know, that stuff about the conviction of things not seen.

Apologetics is a branch of theology that seeks to defend and explain Christian faith and its basic tenets as reasonable and reliable. Early apologists include Origen and Tertullian, Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, and Augustine of Hippo. We might add C.S. Lewis, R.C. Sproul and Tim Keller from our time to the list. Continue reading

08.25.2023 – Betting On Beating the Bus

This time of year, I am out for a morning walk about the same time the sun comes up.  The school kids are out to catch the bus.  There are a couple of buses that rumble through the neighborhood – it looks like one picking up the elementary-age students and another for the middle and high school kids.  The buses make several stops and when they do, their red lights begin to flash and the stop sign arm pops out.

No one likes following a school bus with its stops and flashing red lights. If you’re on your way to work and behind a school bus, it might delay your arrival by, who knows? – two minutes.

Earlier this week I was out for my morning walk when a school bus pulled up to the stop sign at Bear Creek Pass and Kodiak Trail.  The bus turned left on Kodiak Trail, normally the fastest way out of the development. The pickup truck behind the bus, however, made a short stop at the intersection and accelerated quickly as it headed straight down Bear Creek Pass. He was betting he could beat the bus. Continue reading