Gone Phishin’

The internet age introduced the word ‘phishing’ into my vocabulary. Phishing is a term for techniques used to deceive unsuspecting internet users. Users are lured by communications purporting to be from a trusted party. Phishing often directs users to enter personal information at a fake website which matches the look and feel of the legitimate site.

I was victimized a few years ago by a website I thought was Safari. I was asked to call a phone number that looked like Safari’s number, but turned out to be one number off. I was fortunate to recognize the scam before irreparable damage was done. After hours and days, I was able to extricate myself without loss of funds.

While phishing is a new term, the scam is as old as the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-6). On his first phishing expedition, Satan reeled in Eve and Adam. Creation has never fully recovered from the devastation. In the most audacious phishing event of all time, Satan came to Jesus at the beginning of His ministry here on earth. Luke 4:1-13 records the event, Jesus’ Temptation in the Wilderness. While Jesus did not succumb to the devil’s deceitfulness, overall the devil’s phishing schemes have been so successful that they remain among the enemy’s main tools.

While wicked and cunning men wreak havoc on our bank accounts and financial well-being, there is a greater problem still. It is the constant pressure to believe lies and half-truths in our spiritual lives. Jesus warned us about ‘phishers of men’. He said, “Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15). These religious deceivers can be very convincing and often seduce believers that are not well grounded in God’s word. “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).

The Apostle Paul offers this advice: Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (1 Peter 5:8-9, NIV).

Prayer: Dear Lord, please post a ‘No Phishing’ sign on my heart.

But If Not…

But if not…” These three little word have helped me clarify a point that is fundamental in my faith. I believe God can save a person’s life and that He can deliver a person from the gravest peril. He may do either or both. But if not, what then?

Daniel 3:16-18 brings the words ‘but if not’ into clear focus. “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

We often pray for healing from serious physical illness or deeply trying circumstances. We believe the Lord is able to remedy the most serious conditions. But we need to understand that it may not happen as we think. I believe He can and will always deliver one of His children from total destruction by the evil one. However, He may not physically save our lives in the here and now. But if not,’ He is still God and will always have our eternal well-being as His motivation. 

Jesus said, “And fear not them which kill the body but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). According to commentators Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown:

“A decisive proof this (is) that there is a hell for the body as well as the soul in the eternal world; in other words, that the torment that awaits the lost will have elements of suffering adapted to the material as well as the spiritual part of our nature, both of which, we are assured, will exist for ever. Note them which kill the body’. That is, ‘fear not’ people or things who have no power to injure the soul, the immortal part of our being. The body is a small matter to deal with in comparison to the soul. Temporal death that looms so ominous is a minor disruption compared to eternal death. The Lord directs people, therefore, not to be overly alarmed at the prospect of temporal death, but to fear God, who can destroy both soul and body forever.”

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, by Robert Jamieson, Andrew Robert Fausset, and David Brown, 1871

As we walk our probationary journey of life, we can rest assured that there is no situation that comes to us from which the Lord cannot deliver us. He is able! However, we must also know that He may choose not to extricate us from temporal circumstances. He tells us in His word, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,  So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9, NKJV). We need to understand that “…though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” ( 1 Peter 1:6-7, NIV).

Our Lord Is Able To Deliver Us – But If Not…

~ Brother Roy

Under Anathema

Joe Btfsplk was a character in the satirical comic strip ‘Li’l Abner’ (published 1934–1977) by cartoonist Al Capp. Joe was a classic ‘bad luck’ guy. A small, dark rain cloud perpetually hovered over his head to symbolize his bad luck. Whenever Joe showed up in the comic strip, disastrous “stuff” happened. 

A friend of mine from Eastern Kentucky had a phrase for hard luck people like Joe. He used to say, “That fellow is under anathema,” meaning he was under some kind of curse. I’ve also heard people say, “If it wasn’t for bad luck, that fellow would have no luck at all.” Perhaps many of us have at times felt like we were under a dark cloud – under anathema.

If you have felt that way, a self-examination may be in order. Scripture instructs us, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” (2 Corinthians 13:5, NKJV). When God’s people obey Him, He blesses them. When they disobey Him, divine judgment or discipline will sooner or later be the result. God’s word says, If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door” (Genesis 4:7, NKJV).

If you sense a black cloud of bad luck and trouble hangs over you, it may be more than a feeling. It may be a message of divine mercy.  The Lord may be shining the light of conviction on sin in your life. He loves you. Because of His great love, He may be calling you to repentance.  “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9, NKJV). The proper response to feeling you are under anathema is confession and repentance. God promises, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”  (1 John 1:9, NKJV).

Blessings are the wholeness and holiness of God filling our lives; curses are everything that is not sacred filling our lives. A curse isn’t God taking revenge out on us because we disobeyed. A curse is everything that is not sacred filling the void left in our lives when we make the choice not to have God at the center of our being. If we make a choice to eschew God’s blessings, the result is that which is unholy will invade. The field which was meant by our Father to grow the seeds of His love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23, NKJV) will instead yield thorns and thistles (Genesis 3:18).

You Don’t Have Live Under Anathema!

~ Brother Roy

Shalom, Continued

In a recent post titled ‘Shalom, Y’all!’, I addressed some of the nuances of the Jewish greeting shalom. In this post, I would like to explore more of the implications of the concept of Shalom. As noted in ‘Shalom, Y’all!’, the Jewish greeting carries the broad meaning of peace, wholeness, health, safety, and prosperity. But, I think there is even more implied in the word shalom than those previously mentioned.

Of all the devastating impacts of man’s Fall in the Garden of Eden, the resulting estrangement from God was paramount. Revered Bible scholar Dr. John Oswalt says that alienation from God was perhaps the worst part of the judgment against Adam and Eve. The Bible says, So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life” (Genesis 3:24, NKJV).

Before they disobeyed, Adam and Eve were at peace with God and all He created. Their needs were supplied. They did not suffer hunger, disease, or pain of any kind. Beauty surrounded them, and all good things were for them to experience and enjoy. They weren’t lonely, for they had each other, and more importantly, they had an intimate relationship with their Creator. If any people ever experienced peace, it was Adam and Eve. The condition of peace existed in the garden only as long as they were obedient to God’s will. Sadly, they chose to disobey and the Shalom of God was lost for them.  

The world’s definition of peace can be negative – the absence of turmoil. Shalom is positive – the presence of the Lord. There is a colloquial saying that reflects this truth: “No God, No Peace; Know God, Know Peace.” A personal relationship with God is the prerequisite for real peace. The Bible says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee” (Isaiah 26:3, KJV). The Orthodox Jewish Bible translation of this verse is slightly different and beautiful: “Thou wilt keep him in shalom shalom, whose yetzer (mind-set) is stayed on Thee; because he trusteth in Thee” (Yeshayah 26:2-4). The beautiful words from Havergal’s  great hymn ’Like A River Glorious’ flows from this verse in Isaiah:

Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:2, KJV). Peace – lasting peace – transcends the situations of our own personal lives because it doesn’t come from us. It comes from the Lord. What we cannot attain on our own is provided for us by His grace. He promises all the qualities of shalom – wholeness, completeness, soundness, health, safety, prosperity and His presence – to those who will look to Him.

Prayer: Dear Lord, please give to all who read this devotional thought Your shalom.

~ Brother Roy

Shalom, Y’all!

I love Savannah, Georgia!  This charming city in the Old South is graced with antebellum mansions, glorious Victorian homes, splendid monuments, and 22 parklike squares. It is one of the largest National Historic Landmark Districts in the United States. One of my favorite places to visit in Savannah is Temple Mickve Israel, one of the oldest synagogues in the United States. The current synagogue, located on Monterey Square in historic Savannah is a rare example of a Gothic-style synagogue. Monterey Square, with its stately live oaks draped with Spanish moss, is widely considered to be the most picturesque of Savannah’s squares. For me, there is an ethos of peace and tranquility that envelops the Square and Temple.

On a visit to the synagogue, I ventured into the gift shop. The print on various articles of clothing caught my attention. I noticed the Hebrew word שָׁלוֹם and then beneath it was written in English, ‘Shalom Y’all’. I thought, “What a beautiful blending of two cultures which I revere.” The Jewish greeting ‘Shalom’ carries the broad meaning of peace, wholeness, health, safety, and prosperity. ‘Y’all’ is a casual southern hospitable phrase for addressing two or more people.

In the age in which we live, there seems to be little peace in general and likewise little hospitable inclusion of those outside our own circles. I have determined that as I move forward, I will be a ‘Shalom Y’all’ person. I want to speak peace and blessing to those with whom I have contact. I also want to be inclusive and hospitable to more than just those closest to me.

I’ve had a chance to ‘field test’ the Shalom Y’all approach with a person. I took a friend to a pet store to get supplies for her cat. We were in a checkout line, and the clerk was having difficulty with her computer. She was frustrated and apologized for the delay. She looked exhausted, so I said, “You look very weary, I wish I could help.” She began to sob as tears streamed down her cheeks. She told me she had cancer. Her chemo treatments were draining her energy and leaving her nauseated, but she had to work to pay her bills. I asked her if I could say a quick prayer for her. She nodded, and I offered a brief petition. Through her tears, she expressed her deep appreciation. I glanced back at the line behind me. Many had bowed their heads, some were shedding tears, and others gently clapped their hands. No one appeared to be impatient. Several expressions of kindness followed as people moved through line of clerk who now had a smiling face wet with tears. I think all of us there experienced a little Shalom that day.

Shalom Y’all

~ Brother Roy

A Catawampus World

I am trying to come to grips with the fact that I live in a catawampus world. I heard the term ‘catawampus’ when I was growing up, but wasn’t sure it was a real word. Later, I was surprised to find out that it is actually a legitimate word. The dictionary definition: askew; awry; positioned diagonally; cater-cornered. I have determined through personal observation that our world is indeed askew. While I could cite numerous examples of our catawampus state, I will highlight just a couple.

I will be the first to admit that the explosion of technology has left me behind. While most of my maladroit interaction with computers and smart phones may be due to my advanced age and lack of training, scammers and hackers work overtime to steal money from people like me. These crooked schemers reflect some of the worst aspects of a fallen world.

The enemy of our soul still breathes the same lies as he did in the Garden of Eden: “Trust me, you can do as you please, and nothing bad will happen to you”. Wise is the person who is aware of the scripture, For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). The lawlessness, violence, deep political division, and class hatred further manifests the devastating effects of sin on humankind. The impact of man’s disobedience has resulted in a catawampus world.

I do have a plan for negotiating this crooked and perverse world. I am going to walk with Jesus! I will be unwaveringly committed to the Lord. Scripture says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight(Proverbs 3:5,6). I know that when I walk with the Lord; “The crooked places shall be made straight and the rough ways smooth” (Luke 3:5, NKJV).

I love the words of the old hymn “Trust and Obey”, by John Henry Sammis:

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Join with Jesus and me, and let us walk in the light of His Word. With His help, we can stay on the straight and narrow way as we transverse a Catawampus World.

~ Brother Roy

Oh, That We Might Know the Lord!

“Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces; now He will heal us. He has injured us; now He will bandage our wounds. In just a short time He will restore us, so that we may live in His presence. Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know Him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.” (Hosea 6:1-3, NLT)

The prophet Hosea found himself pleading with the unfaithful people of Israel to return to God.  And the obvious anguish in Hosea’s plea reveals his parallel experience with unfaithfulness – Hosea’s wife repeatedly strayed from their marriage and prostituted herself, even conceiving children with other men. Hosea surely knew how it felt to plead with one you love.

In the preceding chapters, Hosea had been prophesying great destruction for Israel, predicting the awful downfall to come as a result of their idolatry and wickedness:  “One thing is certain, Israel: On your day of punishment, you will become a heap of rubble. The leaders of Judah have become like thieves. So I will pour my anger on them like a waterfall. The people of Israel will be crushed and broken by my judgment, because they are determined to worship idols. I will destroy Israel as a moth consumes wool. I will make Judah as weak as rotten wood…I will be like a lion to Israel, like a strong young lion to Judah. I will tear them to pieces! I will carry them off, and no one will be left to rescue them. Then I will return to my place until they admit their guilt and turn to me. For as soon as trouble comes, they will earnestly seek me.”  (Hosea 5:9-15, NLT)

In Hosea’s plea that follows this message of destruction, there is a confidence that God will respond to repentance with redemption:  “He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.” We find the truth of this confidence repeated in the New Testament.  The Apostle John wrote of it in I John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”  In Acts chapter 2, Peter quotes from the prophet Joel: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:21/Joel 2:32).  Jesus spoke a message to the church at Laodicea that closely resembles the message delivered to Israel by Hosea: “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.  Be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with them, and they with me” (Revelation 3:19-20).  The pattern is illustrated time and time again – when there is repentance, God is waiting to respond with redemption!

However, the tragedy of Hosea’s day was that just as God’s redemption is reliable as the dawn, the people’s apostasy was as predictable as the dew: “’O Israel and Judah, what should I do with you?’ asks the Lord. ‘For your love vanishes like the morning mist and disappears like dew in the sunlight…I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings. But like Adam, you broke my covenant and betrayed my trust’” (Hosea 6:4, 6-7).

God says to an unfaithful Israel, “Show me some love!”  How do we show love to God?  Scripture tells us over and over that we show love to God through our obedience:

  • John 14:15“If you love me…keep my commands.”
  • John 14:21“Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me.” 
  • John 14:23“Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.” 
  • I John 2:5“If anyone obeys His word, love for God is truly made complete in them.”
  • I John 5:3“This is love for God: to keep His commands.” 
  • II John 6“And this is love: that we walk in obedience to His commands.” 

And how do we know what commands to obey?  God says through Hosea, “I want you to know me.”  This was Hosea’s heart cry: “Oh, that we might know the Lord!”  In order to love Him, we must obey Him; in order to obey Him, we must know Him.  If we would see ourselves restored “so that we may live in His presence”, we must “press on to know Him”, and “He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn.”

~ Matt Kinnell
NHIM Board Chair

The Farmer’s Prayer

I was talking with a friend about the unusually difficult times we are experiencing. The Pandemic, political division, and moral decline dominated our conversation. My friend then shared a story with me that I had heard years ago, but certainly benefited from hearing again. Permit me to share the story:

    A pastor attended a community breakfast in the middle of a rural farming area of the county. An older farmer, decked out in bib overalls, was asked to say grace for the morning breakfast:     

“Lord, I hate buttermilk,” the farmer began. The visiting pastor opened one eye to glance at the farmer and wondered where this was going.

The farmer loudly proclaimed, “Lord, I hate lard.” Now the pastor was growing concerned.

Without missing a beat, the farmer continued, “And Lord, you know I don’t much care for raw white flour.”

The pastor once again opened an eye to glance around the room. He noticed others were feeling uncomfortable as well.

Then the farmer added, “But Lord, when you mix ‘em all together and bake ‘em, I do love them warm, fresh biscuits. So, Lord, when things come up we don’t like, when life gets hard, when we don’t understand why this is happening, help us to just relax and wait until you are done with the mixing. It’ll probably be even better than them biscuits.   Amen.”

Within this prayer is great wisdom for all when it comes to complicated situations like we are experiencing in the world today.

~ Brother Roy

Not My Fault

I suppose most of us have had times in our lives when we came up short of expectations. For various reasons, we did not do our best. There usually follows a period of explanations and excuses. We engage in the ‘not my fault’ narrative trying to lessen the disappointment that we feel in ourselves and others may feel about us. 

An old saying fits this situation: ‘A poor workman always blames his tools.’ How difficult it is for us to accept responsibility for or actions, especially if we are not pleased with our performance. We must be forewarned that making excuses and blaming someone or something else, if it becomes our modus operandi, is very destructive. It can have a devastating effect on our own mind and heart. When we fail to take responsibility, it creates anxiety and insecurity.

Learning to accept responsibility is a must if a person is to be successful in life and intends heaven to be their home. Accepting personal responsibility is taking ownership of our own behavior and the consequences of that behavior. Until we accept responsibility for shortcomings and failures, it’ll be very difficult to develop self-respect or to have the respect of others.

It’s a simple truth that all human beings, young and old alike, make mistakes and poor choices. So, you should first understand one thing: You’re not the first person (nor will you be the the last) who has fallen short in the personal behavior department from time to time. The following steps for dealing with failure to meet expectations are Biblical and redemptive:

  • Face the situation head-on without excuses such as, It’s not my fault, I’ve had a string of bad luck, if I was older/younger/richer/smarter/single/married/better educated/better connected, etc., this wouldn’t have happened to me.
  • Realize that simply saying ‘I’m sorry’ does not automatically restore confidence.
  • Acknowledge your failures with heartfelt confession and true repentance. “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death” (2 Corinthians 7:10, NKJV).
  • With the help of the Holy Spirit, don’t repeat the action. John 8 relates the account of a woman caught in adultery that was brought to Jesus. The law demanded that she be stoned. What happens in this verse must be taken in its full context. Jesus does not tell the woman, “You did nothing wrong.” He does not say, “Don’t worry about what you did.” Instead, Jesus simply states that He does not condemn her—which in this context refers specifically to stoning her for this particular sin. He also explicitly tells her not to commit this sin anymore. This incident is often misapplied by those who think Christians ought never to speak out against sin. The exact opposite is true: Jesus showed this woman incredible loving grace, while still firmly calling her adultery what it was – ‘sin’ and a moral failure which must not be repeated.

Prayer: Lord, help me to accept responsibility when I fail and with Your help to rise above the situation.

~ Brother Roy

Look Both Ways

Most of us have heard the following advice many times, “Look both ways before you cross the street”. Today, we need to heed that good advice again. Here we are, we’ve finished 2020, and we can look back over many turbulent days. We can also look forward to a New Year not yet cluttered with events. It is my intent in this devotional to briefly look both ways as we cross into the New Year.

The 2020 year, in many respects, has enveloped our minds in a kind of fog. Covid-19 has and continues to be lethal, leaving a path of sickness and destruction. This global pandemic has infected tens of millions, and the number of deaths staggers the mind. There have been three deaths in our family due to Covid. Now, a new Covid strain is exploding in Europe. Lockdowns, isolation, and mental distress seem to be the order of the day. Economic woes and political upheavals have inundated us. The fog of confusion and uncertainty as we look back threatens to obscure our view of things that are of eternal importance.

How about an attempt to look forward to see what the New Year might reveal?  I would like to offer some reflections about peering into what seems to be an obscured future.  For more than a decade, my wife and I have been privileged to spend time on Dauphin Island off the coast of Mobile, Alabama. During our days on Dauphin Island, I grew accustomed to looking across the bay each morning and seeing the bridge that connects the island to the mainland. When heavy fog comes in, it is impossible to see this vital lifeline connector. I knew the causeway and bridge were there, but not being able to see them can be a little unsettling.

My discomfort is partly due to past history. A dozen hurricanes and tropical storms have battered the island in the last 50 years. September 12, 1979, a bruising Category 3 hurricane named Frederic roared up the Gulf of Mexico and across Dauphin Island before surging into Mobile Bay. The 120-mile-per-hour winds and 12-foot storm surge destroyed the only bridge to the island and destroyed 140 houses. For several years, the only way on and off the island was by boat. The people on the island have been assured that the present three mile long bridge (1982) is hurricane-proof and storm-proof.

I soon learned the fog that blankets Dauphin island in the morning hours would eventually dissipate. The rising sun would melt away the fog. It was always comforting when the fog lifted and I could see the bridge. In like manner, the spiritual fog that threatens to block our vision into the new year can also be dispelled. Although surrounded by the fog of 2020 as we move into 2021, we must have faith to believe Jesus is there, even though circumstances seem to obstruct our vision. We need to be assured that He loves us and wants to clear away the fog.

As a foggy day progressed on Dauphin Island, the sun came up and caused the fog to lift. I could see the bridge was still there. In like manner Scripture promises, But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing Him directly just as He knows us” (1 Corinthians 13:12b, MSG).

How do we keep the spiritual fog from blocking our view of Christ in the New Year? Let me share some things that help me. I believe they can also help you.

  • Read and anchor in Psalm 23. This Psalm is one of the most beloved of all scriptures. If you have not already memorized it, do so. It can help clear away the fog.
  • Look up and commit to memory Isaiah 46:4 – “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you”.
  • Trust God’s promise in His unchanging Word, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV).
  • Take time to sing a favorite hymn or gospel song, like: Blessed Assurance; It is Well With My Soul; Now I Belong To Jesus; On Christ The Solid Rock I Stand; He Hideth My Soul; or Rock Of Ages. (In my case, it may be better to read the words and hum.) *If you don’t have a hymn book, contact me at NHIM and I will find you one. NO ONE SHOULD BE WITHOUT HYMNAL!
  • Adopt an old Hebrew perspective of moving into the future. ‘You walk backwards into the future’. While you may not be able to see exactly what the future holds, but you can see the past. You can see God’s faithfulness as you look back across the years. He has always been faithful. You can rest in the assurance that He was there yesterday and He will be there tomorrow. You can step into 2021 knowing He is going ahead of you. Hear Him say, “I’ve got this!”

Allow me to paraphrase some of the lyrics of a Johnny Nash recording: “I can see clearly now, the fog is gone, I can see all obstacles in my way. Gone are the thick clouds that had me blind. It’s gonna’ be a bright, bright sunshiny day.”

“Look both ways before you cross the street”

~ Brother Roy