Border Security 101 . . .

There are obvious reasons why a nation should establish and defend its borders. They are much the same reasons why home owners and business owners define and protect their property boundaries . . . and often do so by erecting a fence.

As a nation, it is important for us to protect our borders from illegal movement of weapons, drugs, contraband, and people. Yet, at the same time, it is important that we promote proper entry into the country. Both are important things! Protect for national security; yet, lawful and proper entry for economic prosperity. Both as a matter of national sovereignty.

There are so many reasons for us to secure our southern border. Just to name a few:

1. Life in the U.S. is greatly attractive to the poor, destitute people of Mexico, and it is simply impossible to assimilate all those who would want to enter;

2. We are living in an ever-increasingly dangerous world, with many enemies who seek to do us harm, and caution and control of entry is more and more important;

3. The drug cartels are totally evil entities and pose great threat to our nation; and

4. We have many citizens and physical assets within a short three-hour drive of our southern border, and that can serve as an attractive target for an enemy. Moreover, with that same area, we have significant military assets that, too, could serve as attractive targets.

So, that addresses the “WHY” of border security. Now, the question becomes “HOW” do we effectively accomplish that important task?

1. We began the process of building a fence; however, when President Bush left office, funding died and a partial fence stands along part of the border. The simple truth is that a partial fence simply does not do much to keep folks out of either our country, or our back yards.
Whatever it is we select as a tool, we must complete it! It Seems to me . . . that a partial fence standing sends the wrong message . . . that we are not very serious about security!

2. Much has been said and written about the subject of “Boots on the Ground,” yet, I think that is not a very good approach to the problem. My reasons are: a) people are noisy, and in groups they are more so, and thus, it is easy for criminals to work around and avoid; b) it is a very expensive approach; and c) the human element always brings in additional dynamics . . . such as abuse, dishonesty, bribery, and a host of problems that are unrelated to our security, but are the products of human behavior (e.g. following our capture of Iran during Operation Desert Storm, we as a people were horrified as the abuses imposed on prisoners in the name of our great country became publicly known)!

3. There are wonderful new systems and gadgets available today to monitor activity. I know that I can use such satellite systems to monitor animal activity around the feeders at the ranch 600 miles away. I can literally watch a deer or a bobcat at the blind on my living room TV. It is all motion-activated! Nothing happening? Nothing reported!

4. The drone program is an amazing and proven form of technology that is able to gather and distribute important data in a very time-effective method.

Finally, our federal agencies and military branches have developed systems and tools that can easily monitor the border and send information to any point on the planet in a matter of seconds. In fact, they have bragged that they can monitor us to the point that we can stand on our porch at the midnight hour, open a stick on chewing gum, and they can identify the flavor!

It Seems to me . . . that the need for border security is obvious and the American people have repeatedly sent that message to Washington that it is desired and expected . . . the urgency is clear . . . and the technology is available.

So, it is troubling just how this serious matter somehow evolved into a “battle ground” between the two political parties. The truth is that neither of those self-serving parties has a dog in this fight, nor does either have one single penny invested . . . this is a national issue and the people have made their wishes known and have provided sufficient funds to make it happen. However, our representatives have purposely ignored us, set up strongholds in and around the issue and squandered our money on much less important things . . . things we neither wanted, nor requested . . .

The truth is that things are heating up, and we are seeing more and more troubling reports by Texas ranchers about the criminal activity they are seeing . . . and of greater concern: sections of their own ranches they are no longer to use or enter!

It Seems to me . . . It is high time for action! My next subject will be, “Who needs to do it?”

Our Southern Border . . .

What in the heck is going on with our border with Mexico?

For pretty much my entire life, I have lived within a few hours drive of the international border between the United States and Mexico. Over the years, I have known and understood border politics . . . on both sides of the border.

I have traveled extensively across Mexico. I have crossed over pretty much every bridge between the two countries from Tijuana to Brownsville. I have crossed a number of those bridges many times, including Brownville – Matamoros, Progreso – Nuevo Progreso, Hidalgo – Reynosa, Eagle Pass – Piedras Negras, Del Rio – Acuna, Laredo – Nuevo Laredo, El Paso – Juarez, as well as bridges on Arizona/Mexico including Alcadones and San Luis. I have spent considerable time in Mexico visiting cities such as Monterrey, Mexico City, Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas, Cozumel, Cancun, etc. I also attended my sophomore and junior years of high school at Ysleta, only a hundred yards from the Rio Grande River (the lower valley area of El Paso). As a student at Ysleta, my pals and I thought it was really cool to leave high school football practice and drive across the back route and go into Saragossa, pull our old clunkers up in front of the market, and walk up to the beer box on the sidewalk in front of the food store and just help ourselves as 15- and 16-year-olds. All perfectly legal at that tender age . . . and in that country!

I speak Spanish well enough to effectively communicate, negotiate, and trade when in Mexico. Further, I own some senior citizen apartment complexes in the Rio Grande Valley, occupied by folks who, for the most part, only speak Spanish, and the most of them started life in Mexico and managed to find their way here. The great majority of them and I communicate quite well when I visit there. My point is simply that I know Mexico and her people . . . and I know them about as well as any white man I know.

I am seriously confused over the entire border issue and the politics surrounding it. Suddenly there is a ferocious debate in Washington about closing and protecting our border. Duh . . . I have always been under the impression that protecting the border has always been the law of the land and something that we, as a Nation, spend untold hundreds of millions of dollars upon with the Border Patrol and all of its check points. I travel to Mexico several times a year and have not once seen a slacking off by the border patrol folks at the bridge check-point or at the inland check-point station. They are asking the same questions, examining the same documents . . . and are obviously seriously looking for folks trying to sneak across.

Yet, in spite of the efforts of the Border Patrol, there are more and more illegals managing to find their way into the United States. That is a given . . . but suddenly there is a ferocious debate going on in our Nation’s capital over this subject and one gets the notion that something has changed and there has been something improper going on that has permitted the large increase of illegals.

Over the next few blogs, I intend to address some of that debate, and examine the rights and wrongs of it . . . and report how I see things as I look to the South. I want to be honest and tell you that I believe that protecting the borders and providing for the common defense are the two primary and fundamental responsibilities of the federal government. In the areas of purpose, responsibility, and duty, I believe the federal government has drifted far, far off course and now focuses its time and energy (and our money) on foolish things such as the sort of windows and light bulbs we are permitted to use in our homes! It also has become infatuated with social programs and things such as health care and highway construction . . . both of which are not enumerated as tasks/powers under the Constitution.

Having said that, I also go on record as being opposed to illegal immigration . . . But I also confess that if I had been born in Mexico, I would have spent every ounce of energy I had trying to get into this great country . . . that we call home. Life in Mexico is far different . . . in that it is very hard!

It Seems to me . . . the time has come for action . . . but what should that action be? And who ought to take it? More to follow . . .

North to Alaska . . .

In November, 1960, the comedic western “North to Alaska” was released. The story concerned two unlikely fellows, Sam and George, who became rich in the gold fields of Alaska. Following their strike, George sends Sam to Seattle to fetch George’s fiancé back to Alaska. Of course, the great old song by the same title, sang by Johnny Horton, was part of the movie’s sound track. Some years later, the Alaskan gold-fields that called gently down to those in the “lower 48” enticing them to come and get rich, grew even larger as a lure, as major oil discoveries were made, and now became the Alaska “oil fields,” and large waves of folks made their way to Alaska, and Alaska began to develop. Today, there are a number of lures that continue to call drifters, explorers, and the curious to Alaska. It is simply one of those rare places that one can never visit too many times, and there is always a desire to go back.

I have been to Alaska quite a few times over the past 30+ years. Sandy has accompanied me on a number of those trips, and she has actually traveled in, through, and around the state more than I, as my visits were always connected with work. Over the years, we have talked about Alaska and the wholesome beauty of it, and Dorothy has caught a bit of the fever. Thus, Dorothy, Sandy, and I have talked and dreamed over recent years about going to Alaska together and staying for an extended period of time . . . perhaps a month, or even more. We have talked about a number of different ways to take the trip. It is likely just my unqualified opinion, but I always thought that buying a really nice, large (45+’), fairly-new and low-mileage motor home would be the perfect way to make the trip . . . just hook up a tow-bar and drag a nice SUV along and head off into the sunset! To drive thru Alberta, British Columbia, the Yukon, and up the 1,500-mile remote highway, which is often described as, “The Ultimate Road Trip.”

Dorothy has been here with us over recent weeks, and our conversations, more and more, tend to turn to Alaska and the question looms larger and larger, “When do we quit talking/planning and begin packing our bags and just go?”

The girls don’t see the charm in driving a motor-home approach, and want us to simply fly to Anchorage, lease a luxury lodge for a month, rent an SUV, and check out Mt McKinley, various other local attractions, such as Cook Inlet, Turnagain Arm, and perhaps tour some by helicopter . . . and take a train trip, and even spend some time panning for gold. The girl’s strongest argument is that driving up by motor home would be slow and we would use up a large chuck of our time driving, and that is true.

If we do it in the manner they suggest, it will allows us to make a number of three- to five-day excursions to do some really cool things, such as:

Visit Seward and see the glaciers (they are so blue it is beyond description), charter a boat, and go out whale-watching . . . they are amazing!

Visit Homer, stay at Land’s Inn, watch the fleet of vessels coming and going, observe the 30′ tide exchange, and go on a charter and fish for giant Halibut (perhaps the finest-eating fish from any sea). We can have the fish cleaned, vacuum sealed, frozen, and then Fed Exed to arrive at our home on almost any day we wish! We can also do the same with the King Crab.

We can also take other excursions and go to Juneau (the state Capitol), Valdez, Fairbanks, the Kenai Peninsula, Copper Canyon, etc., and see the wonderful sights Alaska has to offer. Alaska is a place where one can see a mature Bald Eagle up close, as well as a large variety of animals, including bears and moose.

Dorothy and I each have a few personal issues to work through, and we are both on it, and then we will be headed North to Alaska . . .



A Great Example . . . Happy 96th Birthday!

William Franklin “Billy” Graham, Jr. . . . the world’s greatest evangelist, has spent the vast majority of his life serving God and telling the world . . . and I do mean the world . . . about God’s son, Jesus Christ.

I recall once telling a noted evangelist (Rev Jim Ponder) that I, personally, believed Billy Graham was the greatest preacher in the world. He chuckled and assured me that Billy Graham was a mediocre preacher, at best, and went on to inform me that Billy Graham was a great “Inviter”! I recall thinking that his comment was quite arrogant and misplaced. As I have thought on that through the years, It Seems to me . . . that effective preaching is, in fact, inviting others to come to Christ and doing so by way of a message that enables folks to see who they are . . . see who Christ is . . . and their need for what He can do for them!

There are many reasons why I admire and appreciate this precious man. A few are:

1. He created the largest ministry in the world; 2. He insisted that the ministry always submit to an annual CPA audit, with the audit published and made public; 3. He insisted that he and his family live in a relatively modest manner, and that his salary always be limited to a most modest amount; 4. That, unlike so many other ministries, there has never been any scandal, or even a hint of a question about integrity; 5. That Dr. Graham preached the Gospel message to millions upon millions of people in over 400 Crusades in 185 countries and territories in continents; 6. that BGEA records reflect that over 3.2 million people are known to have made a profession of faith, yet there is no telling how many did so without having called “the number on the screen”; 7. That his crusades were broadcast by both TV and radio across the world; and 8. That he always remained a humble, modest man . . . and never forgot it was all about Jesus.

In honesty, I must admit that in recent years, I have heard this fine man say some things publicly that were confusing. Those comments were all about Heaven and eternity, and it seemed that he was pretty much throwing the gates of Heaven open and inviting everyone in . . . regardless of what they believed. I do not believe for one second that he, consciously, was altering the message he preached faithfully for so many years. I do think that perhaps his family ought to have stopped his speaking publicly and granting interviews when he reached the place in time when he was no longer able to process his thoughts and statements. I actually believe that he had such a great love for people and such an incredible burden for the lost, that as his thought processes diminished, he spoke from his tender heart and his comments simply reflected his desire that none should perish.

Rarely has a single individual so greatly impacted the world! He stands very tall in the history of human history. He will certainly hear those precious words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant!”

Abi is visiting . . .

Tuesday afternoon, Abi came to visit us for a few days; she brought her mom and dad, too.
Yesterday I got to spend the entire day with her . . . from the first few minute after she woke until she kissed me good-night and went upstairs for bed! The first time I have ever done that, and it was perfect.

What does one do with a 2-year-old for the day? Just hang out and let her be happy! She has a kid’s Bible that is about 3-inches thick, with about 25 pages of pictures, and a brief description of biblical events. We both discovered that she delights in “reading” her Bible to her Pappy! As she read to me, she had a very serious and sincere look on her face, and as she deems appropriate, will every few minutes interrupt her reading and break out in song. She will sing for a bit, and then resume her reading. She is really cool about it all and will allow me to interrupt and ask questions. I am not entirely sure of all that she says, but it sure sounds right . . . primarily because her little face radiates joy and everything about her expresses love and kindness . . . and those are pretty essential ingredients for Bible teaching!

I have been amazed at the amount of time she has been willing to simply sit in my lap and hang out with me. Her big sister (who was too involved in activities to come with them) had previously down-loaded a number of kid’s games on my iPhone. I let Abi play those games, and I am quite amazed at how a 2-year-old can figure out how to play electronic games and do very well with it all!! This is one smart little cookie.
As we looked through the photos in the photo album in my phone, she was smitten with a few of the pics, but especially of one in which she was wearing a pretty little pink party dress on her birthday, holding up both index fingers announcing to the world that she is now two years old! As we looked at those pictures, I asked her, “Do you want me to sing happy birthday to you?” She lit up like a Christmas tree, and even joined in and helped me sing! When we finished the song, her sweet little face and eyes were filled with an expression of delight and she clapped her little hands and squealed in delight, and said, “Again, Pappy,” so of course, we sang it again, and again, and again, and again!!! I don’t know how many times she could have repeated the exercise, but she showed no signs of quitting at all.


She loves to be tickled, and will look up sweetly and say, “Tickle me, Pappy,” and just squeals with delight when I do! She even wants to tickle back and is clever with her technique and facial expressions!

We have a sweet little game that we play . . . she loves candy and I love to sneak her some along . . . all the while in a conspiracy to hide it from her mom; however, we never fool mom! I think it is the chocolate circle around her mouth, but the little skunk just flat refuses for me to wipe her mouth!

Last night, I suggested that her parents have dinner at the Yacht Club while Nana and I provided baby-sitting services. They did . . . and we did! It was great and Abi never even whimpered . . . she laughed, played, and delighted in being the center of attention. We delighted in her presence!

Sandy and I love being grandparents! We love and adore Ali and Abi! We enjoy every second with them.

Tomorrow they will head back home. That will be a sad parting. I remember visiting my folks as a young guy with a young family. I can remember that as I drove away from the Poor Farm . . . every time . . . my sweet mother would stand in the middle of that old dirt road, waving good-bye, and would lift her apron up to wipe away her tears.

It seems to me . . . that things have come almost all the way around in the cycle of life . . . I fully understand what my mom was doing . . . and why she did!



Birthdays . . . the sort that are identified on the calendar

Yesterday we received a splendid 2015 calendar in the mail. It is the calendar created and distributed by the Bush Library on the SMU campus in Dallas. Sandy and I are founding members of the foundation that built and operates the Library. We are proud to be associated with that fine group and part of honoring a fine man who served as President at a peculiar time. He had to deal with many difficult things on his watch.

I described the calendar as splendid, and it is! For each month of the year there is a brilliant, color photo of something related to President Bush’s time as President. The photo lay out captures much about Washington . . . cherry trees in blossom in the spring, the White House decorated differently at different times and seasons, and/or the President or First Lady involved in some good deed or service.

This calendar identifies each and every President and identifies his birthday. How many of their birthdays do you know? I only knew two of them . . . George Washington’s (February 22nd) and Abraham Lincoln’s (February 12th) . . . I suppose I learned those as a kid somewhere through the school years.

January is the birth month of four of the Presidents;
February is the birth month of four of the Presidents;
March is the birth month of four of the Presidents;
April is the birth month of four of the Presidents;
May is the birth month of two of the Presidents;
June is the birth month of one of the Presidents;
July is the birth month of four of the Presidents;
August is the birth month of five of the Presidents;
September is the birth month of one of the Presidents;
October is the birth month of the largest number of the Presidents . . . six of them;
November is the birth month of five of the Presidents . . . Polk and Harding shared the same birthdate (the 2nd); and
December is the birth month of three of the Presidents.

The calendar identifies a good number of historical dates and historical events, which I found of great interest.

This year I hung a couple of calendars in my office that featured 12 of the classic cars from over the past 50 years (all being what is often referred to as “Muscle Cars” . . . hot-rod street cars). I have enjoyed looking at, remembering, and thinking about those great old cars.

In January, I will be happy to display this great calendar in my office. It is a calendar that will clearly remind the onlooker of the greatness of our Great Nation and the genius of our Republic and those who created it.

Sadly, this is a time in history in which we need to be reminded of those great truths, as we are struggling in an era where those elected to serve in Washington seem to have a serious disconnect with the citizens who sent them there.



How many times does a man have to earn his fee?

How many times does a man have to earn his fee? November 3, 2014

Last Sunday we sold Aftermath . . . for something like the 6th time (but this was a final sale and the check seems to have cleared the bank)! Let me go back in time and come forward as the events unfolded.

When we made the decision that we probably ought to put Aftermath on the market, I discussed the subject with my friend, Pierce E. Sullivan, of San Antonio. Pierce was the first person I met when I brought Aftermath to what would be her home port for the next ten years . . . Key Allegro Isle Marina, slip A21, Rockport. Pierce owned the vessel in the next slip over, Rendezvous. Pierce proved to be the most knowledgeable and experienced boater I know. Early on, Pierce somehow became the Captain of Aftermath, and in the years we owned her she only left the slip on two occasions when Pierce was not at the helm. We often joked that Pierce was the Ship’s Philosopher, and truthfully he filled that role on a number of occasions.

As we discussed the possible sale, there were a number of issues that needed to be resolved. Those issues were:

1. Should we relocate her to the Clear Lake/Kemah area — which is the 3rd largest boating center in the USA, behind Annapolis, Maryland, and Miami, Florida?

2. If we elected to move her, should we sail her up, or send her by truck? Both options having issues . . . sailing her up added additional hours on her engines and wear and tear on all systems, plus the fuel cost would be in the range of $1,700.00. The other parts being weather issues and breakdowns are always a possibility, and even minor repairs can prove costly at in-between ports. Sending her up by truck would require removal of her radar arch on this end, and hiring a qualified firm on the other end to re-assemble it upon arrival. The radar arch is loaded with wiring for the electronics, navigation lighting, TV, and radio systems — both AM/FM — and marine systems. Moreover, there was also the matter of moving her to a market where there are a vast number of vessels on the market and that means it is a buyer’s market.

3. Utilizing the services of a yacht broker, or not.

We elected to leave her at her home port and work from there . . . It is a great vacation area that draws many visitors who walk up and down the docks. Further, Pierce signed on to serve as our “Seller’s rep.” So, with our plan established, I had a clever sign with Pierce’s phone number made and we hung it on her. Almost immediately, Pierce’s phone began ringing, and truth be told, it rang pretty consistently through the process.

As unbelievable as it may seem, Pierce actually sold Aftermath about six times! The first buyer was a couple from Amarillo, who owned a large agri-business that included a crop-dusting service. That couple was so smitten with Aftermath and the notion of owning her that they bought her on the spot and left a very nice personal check as a deposit. They left with the assurance that they would have their banker call back for instructions for wiring the balance the following day! That did not happen . . . But what did happen was the fellow sent an urgent e-mail message wherein he predicted a collapse of the world’s economy and a Great Depression that would make the previous one look like a picnic! Later that day he called and in tears apologized for his behavior and announced that he was bi-polar! Poor Pierce spent the next six weeks on an emotional roller coaster with the poor fellow. I finally told Pierce to stop accepting calls from the poor, confused dude.

There were others, too! One fellow gave Pierce his personal business card that announced that he was involved in twelve #1 hits on the C & W charts with a couple of famous singers! He also owned a recording studio and a strip mall. After the deal was struck and it was time for him to come forward with the purchase price, he told Pierce that IRS had placed a lien on his considerable record royalties. After some time and discussion, he proposed that if Pierce could get me to refinance his strip mall for something like $900,000, then he would be in a position to buy Aftermath and “pay cash!”

The last prospective buyer was a businessman from a San Antonio who Pierce was certain both wanted the vessel and could come up with the money. A sea-trial on a Saturday afternoon revealed a minor mechanical/maintenance issue that was to be repaired the next week. It was, and Pierce was on the boat the following Saturday to take the guy out again. Thirty minutes prior to the 2nd scheduled sea-trail, the fellow texted Pierce saying that he had to take his girlfriend to the ER. As Pierce literally read the text his phone rang. It was a different fellow asking to look at the vessel. Pierce invited him over and in less than an hour, he bought Aftermath! In Pierce’s thinking, the man from San Antonio he had been waiting on for the sea-trial has been down-graded as a prospect simply because of time and varying interests.

In any event, Aftermath is gone, and Pierce has been paid his fee (well, at least the one-time fee).

Some things I learned through the process:

1. There are some peculiar folks out there; 2. There are some folks who have champagne taste, but only root beer income; 3. There are some folks who just love to play the game, “Let’s Make a Deal” who are simply unable to meet the terms of the deal they make . . . yet they want to play;
4. Not everyone who presents themselves as a friend . . . Is in fact a friend. Sadly, I learned something pretty ugly about someone through all of this; 5. I had always thought that being a yacht broker would be a cool way to make a living . . . now I think it would be a fast-track to the nut house; 6, According to the old saying, there is, indeed, “a buyer for every auto, truck, or boat;” and 7. Another old saying is flat wrong . . . that being, “the two best days in a guy’s life are the day he buys the boat . . . and the day he sells the boat.” The day I sold Aftermath was not a happy day, at all. It made me sad . . . I loved her!


Our Solar System . . . Continued

Recently, I have been blogging about the research I have been doing in my quest to understand this universe in which we reside and call home. I did, however, interrupt the series to post a timely farewell to our beloved vessel, Aftermath.

This morning, I learned that the age-old debate over creation vs evolution has finally been settled . . . and settled instantly! It was settled by none others than Pope Francis, himself!

Delivering an address to the Pontifical Academy of Science, the Pope continued his inclination (now becoming habit) of making provocative and “seemingly progressive” statements concerning old issues that are now being re-examined relative to the enlightened status of our culture . . . along with all of the “so called” progress society has made!

The Pope’s proclamation to the assembly was that there need be no contradiction between believing in God and also accepting the prevailing scientific theories regarding the expansion of our universe! He said, “When we read about creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining that God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so!” He went on to say, “He created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they could reach their fulfillment.” He did avoid gesturing at the thorny issue of whether humans evolved from apes, but his other comments seems to leave a large question of just what he does believe, as he continued, “God is not a divine being or a magician, but the Creator who brought everything to life. Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve!” What crazy double speak . . . I don’t even know what that is supposed to mean.

I don’t know about you, but I think the Pope is a political hack . . . It Seems to me . . . that he lacks loyalty to Scripture, hermeneutics, and long-standing Church policy, practice, and history. In the short time he has filled the office, he seems to have expressed new and troubling views on a number of subjects including abortion, same-sex marriages, and traditional marriage itself. Under his leadership, the Catholic Church looks ever more like a political party seeking to arrange a platform that appeals to a wider range of supporters.

Of course, the demand on the New Testament Church is to openly and unashamedly teach the uncompromised Holy Scripture and leave the reactions of the hearers and the future to the Master. Hey . . . it is the truth that came from Him . . . not from humans, and no one has an ounce of authority to modify it to be pleasing to any group — the hearers or givers/enforcers. It is what it is.

But history reveals that this issue has always been a large piece of the low-hanging fruit that has tempted leadership throughout human history . . . that being to change what The Lord said, to better serve their own agenda. In the Old Testament, the Pharisees expanded the law and made it both brutal and ridged . . . done as a means of controlling the masses. Today, it is being done to endear the leadership to an ever-fickle culture. Wise man that he was, Paul warned in 2 Timothy 4:3, that in the last days, as a product of people’s lust, they would, “gather to themselves teachers who would tickle their ears!”

It seems to me . . . some of that is taking place right now.

In closing, let me make it clear . . . “In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the earth.” He did not ask anyone’s permission or advice. Duh . . . There was no one to ask! He stepped out of nowhere, and stood on nothing, and created all of this . . . from nothing! He did all of that because he is God . . . and He is God all by himself!!! HE DOES NOT NEED OR REQUIRE confirmation or affirmation of any human . . . now or ever. However, if one can simply believe . . . God offers an abiding and enduring relationship to that Believer. I hope and pray that you are not one who is unable to believe. If you are, please tell me sometime and allow me a few minutes to tell you about a couple of blind men who never saw a miracle in their lives, but they had heard enough to summons the courage to believe . . . to believe in spite of having lived lives filled with pain, rejection, darkness, set-backs, turmoil, frustrations, and heartbreak. A simple declaration of faith for those blind men forever changed everything! It did for me too . . .