Sunday Gospel: He Will Always Be There

From Mom’s (Sharon Hollifield) album, Gospel Originals, comes this week’s song of hope and faith – He Will Always Be There.

Often in these troubled times we feel we are facing it all on our own. There was only one time when God closed His eyes and turned His back – when His Son, Jesus, was hanging on the cross taking on the sins of the world.

We can lie down at night and sleep peacefully, because He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of peace, love and a sound mind.

If you stop and listen you can hear His calm, reassuring voice, “Lo, I am with you alway, even to the end of the world.”


Way to End a Month

Delve into the light and dark that is Mark
Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

What a gorgeous Saturday morning in the Cornfield as July spends to an end.

A mild 69 degrees with clear, blue skies. Little to no wind makes for a calming aura in the air. What a way to end a month that has been a scorcher.

On Friday thunderstorms dominated the morning and a few rain showers rolled through in the evening.

Maintenance came over yesterday morning and switch out my air conditioning/heat unit. Talk about a difference. I was freezing. Had to replace my shorts with sweat pants.

For about an hour last evening the cable went out. A call to New Wave revealed a widespread network outage. After it was restored it was spotty for about half of an hour.

Fortunately the internet remained up. Thankful that the electric did not go out either. Pulled the vacuum out of the closet.

Before I could attempt to sweep the carpets, I had to clean the container and filters. Talk about a chore. Literally it took my breath away doing the chore.

Next it was to actually run the vacuum in the bedroom and living room. It was not an easy task even though I had my oxygen on and giving me extra wind. I managed, but for several minutes it felt like I was dying.

Hey, but at least I got the job done – myself. I truly hate being so reliant on other people for the smallest of chores.

Today is my day to take a break from my daily recap of the headlines and current events, Kernels From The Cornfield. But I will be back at the grindstone tomorrow with another edition of The Sunday Paper.

That’s the way it is this Saturday in Mark’s Den.

And how is your weekend going?

Changing of the Guard

Delve into the light and dark that is Mark
Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

It is Friday, July 29, which means it is five days to go before payday. Not that it really matters when as happens each month by sundown on the 3rd of the month I will be broke again.

Such is life.

Following thunderstorms rolling through the Cornfield overnight, this morning it is bright and sunny. But as the evening shadows fall, the chance of more thunderstorms will be prevalent.

Maintenance switched out my air conditioning/heat unit today. The previous unit suddenly was not throwing out as much cool air yesterday evening.

I emailed management, not expecting a response until this morning. Within in minutes I had a reply, though it was nearing 7 p.m.

The difference from the exchange of the unit was immediately noticeable. As I sit typing, I can feel the cool air on my legs, which I never felt before with the old unit.

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den.

And how is your last Friday in July going?

Mixed Signals

Delve into the light and dark that is Mark
Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

My body keeps sending me mixed signals.

One moment I am doing fine, the next I have to reach for the oxygen.

One moment I am able to move about easily, the next I have a dizzy spell and land on the floor.

One moment the cluster headaches are bearable, the next boom!

Such is life.

I push on.

I persevere.

What else can I do? 

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Thursday going?

#ThursdayThrowBack photo:

How I miss my boys: Gizmo (left), Frankie (right)
How I miss my boys: Gizmo (left), Frankie (right)

Watching History

Delve into the light and dark that is Mark
Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

While I will not be casting a vote for Hillary Clinton this fall, I did watch intently and with enthusiasm on Tuesday as history was made.

As both a political and history buff, seeing the first woman nominated by a major political party as the presidential candidate was exciting.

It was not on the same level as a different feeling of anguish watching the assassination of President John F. Kennedy or Dr. Martin Luther King or Bobby Kennedy, but still a rush of sorts.

It was not the solemnity of history playing out as JFK’s casket on a horse-drawn carriage making the slow trek through the streets of the capitol.

It was not the rush and pride of watching that July night in 1969 when Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon.

It was not the historic dread watching the Cuban missile crisis, when the world rocked on the brink of nuclear war.

Yet, the historic moment was something to see as Clinton became the Democratic presidential nominee.

So many historic moments in my six decades to have been able to have seen, now another.

That historic moment can be viewed in Tuesday’s Kernels From the Cornfield. You can also view it on my YouTube page.

Now the question becomes if history will once more be made come November 8 when America votes on who will sit in the Oval Office for the next four years.

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den.

And how is your midweek going?

Another Year, Another Prayer

Delve into the light and dark that is Mark
Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

My thoughts are jumbled this Tuesday morning as July winds down.

The cable and internet went down shortly after midnight last night. I headed to bed. I had planned to go to bed around that time any way.

When I woke today, life was back to normal. The cable and internet had been restored.

Chooey did get better as the day wore on yesterday. This morning he is laying around, but my little buddy is doing well.

Last year I wrote an Open Letter to God. This morning I am updating that prayer.

My Dear Heavenly Father,

I am so thankful for Your love, Your mercy and Your grace. Thank You for all You have done for me and all You are doing for me.

Thank You, dear Lord, for bringing me safe thus far. There have been ups and downs as I have traveled down life’s road, but whenever I was unable to go on due to some obstacle, You were there to either help me plow through, go around or climb over.

At times You directed me to go back and take a detour, but You have always been there and are here now.

Forgive me of my sins and trespasses. Keep guide and direct me. Let me walk where You would have me to walk, talk what You would have me to talk and be what You would have me to be. Lord, not my will, but Thine.

Well, God, I am at one of those forks in the road again. Neither fork looks like the way to go. There are roadblocks setup a few feet away down both pathways. I am at an impasse and don’t know what to do.

No matter which way I go there are some issues that are gumming up the engine and causing it to sputter and at the point of dying. So God, there is no place else to turn and no one else on whom I can rely.

Compared to last year I am doing much better. Still each month is a struggle.

God, what am I to do?

Yes, I do remember how you sent the raven to feed Elijah all those years. Yes, there are plenty of ravens here in the Desert. I know You can, but like Thomas I am a little doubting that You will send a raven.

Yes, God, I remember the song You gave me from the psalm by David:

I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken or his seed out begging bread.

Yes, dear Lord, you have been feeding me.

Yes, dear God, I remember where I was living in the small two-bedroom duplex with bugs we could not eradicate. Yes, I realize that after spending a week in that cheap motel, You touched a heart and then I was living in a beautiful, four-bedroom house with full access, fully furnished, all utilities, satellite and internet included. Thank you, Lord, for providing.

Yes, Lord, You directed me back to the Cornfield last fall. I have a comfortable place and You provided me Chooey to keep me company.

I know, my God, I am where I should be with You putting me in this place.

My health remains a daily struggle. My strength comes and goes. Though I still do not have the voice I had nor can I yet sing, I am still blessed.

I must lean on Your everlasting arms.

God it’s in Your hands.

Jesus, You got the wheel.

This I humbly pray in the precious name of Jesus, my Lord and Savior.

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Tuesday going?

July Winding Down

Delve into the light and dark that is Mark
Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

July begins to wind down as this Monday morning dawns.

What a scorcher it has been for the past week. Thunderstorms will roll through the Cornfield this evening. The heat advisory is gone, but it will still be hot.

Chooey is not feeling well. Not really sure what it is, but I think something he ate is not agreeing with his system. Hopefully he will get better as the day wears on and no need to take him to the vet.

The Democratic National Convention has not started yet, but there is already a lot of news coming out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, site of the event. I wrote about it last evening: New Email Scandal.

The weekend was much better than I expected with my health. So far today, I am doing relatively well.

Other than keeping tabs on all the political shenanigans, this will be rather boring day. Then again what day is not boring these days for me.

Naturally, I will also be monitoring the terror attacks that seem to be increasing rather than abating. Then there was the shooting at a high school party at a nightclub in Florida last night that killed at least two and wounded 20 or so.

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den the start of this last week in July.

And how is your Monday going?

Sunday Gospel: I Saw the Light

His life was marked with tragedy. The demons he fought eventually led to taking his own life when he was at the top of his career.

Yet, this Lord’s Day the Southern Gospel favorite has become a standard and one of the most recorded ever. Hank Williams penned the words and music to “I Saw the Light.”

The song became an instant classic and played in churches throughout the South, though his own life did not mirror the words he wrote. The song is still a most-requested at conventions, revivals and Gospel Sings.

Hopefully Hank has at last found peace, wrapped in the Light that gives hope to the world.


Getting Through the Weekend

Delve into the light and dark that is Mark
Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

What had all the signs of being a rough day Friday morning did not materialize. The day turned out to be fairly good healthwise in Mark’s Den.

Now today may be a different story.

While I am doing fairly well so far this morning, meteorologists have tabbed today’s weather as At High Risk for those of us with respiratory issues. Scattered thunderstorms will make that even more of a concern.

The big story is the expanding heat dome over the Cornfield. The temperatures may not quite make it to 90, but the Real Feel, the heat index will climb in the triple digits to an apex of around 115 degrees today.

I do well with the hot mercury readings. Loved it last year while I spent the summer in the Desert when real temperatures neared 120 degrees.

The difference is the Desert humidity was under 10%. The humidity today will be well north of 70-80%.

Not good.

My main goal today and tomorrow is to make it through the weekend.

Looks like soon-to-be Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is tone-deaf after all. She picked an insider’s insider of Establishment politics to be her running mate – Virginia Senator Tim Kaine. On Thursday night I pointed out, ‘I Can’t Hear You!’

How little did I know that Hillary would by her actions mimic Sergeant Carter.

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Saturday going?

Gonna Be Rough

Delve into the light and dark that is Mark
Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

Woke this morning to rain. The humidity choking out the air. The gray of the morn seems to be a forecast of how this Friday will be.

The heat index for most of the week has been in triple digits. Today, that index will soar higher reaching a zenith tomorrow. All of this makes for a rough start and portends a rough day and weekend ahead.

The pressure on my airways is already intense. I do not need to keep my oxygen on at the moment. How long that will be the case is anyone’s guess.

Interesting watching the end of the Republican National Convention last night. The feedback from the media and the pundits has been even more interesting.

Those in the political consulting class and political journalists continue to try and fit what has and is happening among the people and their choices for office in traditional terms and fit into conventional wisdom.

It doesn’t fly.

I addressed this last night in an op-ed: ‘I Can’t Hear You!’

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Friday going?