Friday, March 3, 2017



February 27
Journalism objectivity does not exist. If it is claimed, it's a myth (call it false news). In fact there is no attempt to conceal bias. That's how journalism has changed. Objectivity as it pertains to fairness, factuality and nonpartisanship was once a journalistic criterion. No more. News media have shifted from reporting information to presenting opinions and personal interpretations. In fact, biases make news sources unique. News recipients (the public) gravitate to sources that align with their own biases. This places an onus of investigative responsibility upon readers to discern the factuality of any information. These are freedoms within a democratic (free) society. Freedom of expression, speech and the press are necessary to democracy. We want these so we must live with their consequences, even the nonsense. Remove them and we are done. Radical authoritarian nationalism champions ultranationalism, populism, anti-immigration and suppression of opposition press. These urgencies expose Fascism. Fascism flourishes in obscurity, (a censored society with restricted commentary). Fascism may be taking new forms. Open speech and opposition press do not stop even under fascism.

March 1, 2017

...just my impression: Trump spoke like a U.S. President last night in his address to the Congress. It was decidedly un-Trump-like. His speechwriter and his speech coach should be commended. Will Trump's public communication today resemble the speech to Congress or the Inauguration speech? Perhaps he enjoyed the performance of his fresh vocal persona enough to stay with it. I am not hopeful. I assume that personal drafts and unscripted speech will feature unfiltered and unguarded bombast and provocative ad libs.

Thursday, March 2, 2017


I am a realist/impressionist/representational painter. I like painting subjects to look like recognizable subjects. In recent weeks I have been faced with an uncommon task, painting a theme. A client asked me to paint two trees with interlocking branches and roots as a symbol of a marriage union. This will be a wedding gift soon. That is, if I don’t destroy my two attempts first. If they survive and if my client likes one of them well enough, we will complete the sale. I am sure that I am harder on myself than the client will be, but I can’t be certain of that either since Christine, my resident art critic keeps pointing out features needing improvement. It’s been an exercise in self-realization. I am less able to imagine images to convey concepts than I thought I was. I have greater respect now for aboriginal artists who capture the spirit of nature and creatures, and for cartoonists who visualize thematic interaction between people. There has been some artistic enjoyment in this work and a strong dose of frustration. Since I was told that the engaged couple are deeply committed to their Christian faith, I have painted subtle symbols such as the Holy Spirit superimposed as a dove in the foliage of the joined trees, and the tree roots sunk into the foundational principles and truths of the ten commandments and the assurance of Christ’s divinity with the open tomb underground. The paintings are coming along, with more fine touches to be added. Yes, I did two paintings and that will give my client a choice. She can have them both but she can choose the one she will gift to her friends. Upon completion, I can hardly wait to get at my next two commissions, true subjects that reflect light and create shadow. I would be a lousy and dissatisfied abstract painter even though I often appreciate some other artists’ work.  

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


There are more than four bases on my diamond and consequently I am not touching all of them consistently. I have not posted on my Retirement Memoirs blog in a very long time. Managing several blogs with different emphases accounts in part for that, besides having invested myself in the writing of books and the painting of commissioned pictures and occasional preparation for preaching ... yes I still do the latter. Admittedly, well, at least it’s my impression, I am rusty at the delivery. I still have a confident voice but humbled by disuse. Christine still tells me that she would rather listen to me than almost anyone else. I think she wants another overseas holiday. To think that when I began as a full-time pastor in 1969 I was in the small town of Smiths Falls, Ontario at Calvary Bible Church, and there I taught a youth Sunday School class, preached sermons on Sunday morning and evening, led the youth Sunday evening program, and prepared a Bible study for Wednesday evening Prayer night. Five years of that. Preaching twice on Sundays continued in Peterborough, Ontario at Ferndale Bible Church for seven years, and at Wishing Well Acres Baptist Church in Toronto for ten years. At Cloverdale Baptist Church in Cloverdale, British Columbia, where I was lead pastor for ten years, congregational growth required two morning services so that I preached three times each Sunday. Only during the third year due to low evening attendances, did the church opt for no weekly Sunday evening service. As an adjunct prof, I taught homiletics at Northwest Baptist College in Langley, so you might think I have something to say about preachers and preaching today. I do. But primarily I listen. I have much yet to learn and areas of my life to which I must apply truth. Moreover, I am off to the gym now, 6:30 am. Been up since 4:30 am. Love the quiet hours. Great to be alive.