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Raoul’s Two Cents: July 21, 2023

Get On Board!

Warning: Serious thoughts and religious topic. Please move on to the jokes if you aren’t in the mood.

I had a physical exam the other day. Before seeing the doctor, I was given some standard health questions about smoking, drinking, allergies and family history, etc. but there was a new section that gauged any loneliness and depression — alluding (I assume) to suicidal tendencies. I guess the hospitals are finally addressing the growing epidemic of suicide all over the world. Indeed, more and more people have lost hope in this confusing world. What a tragedy.

John the doctor

John F., my business partner, wasn’t his jolly old self when I called him this afternoon. Apparently, his friend (John P. MD) had just passed away a few hours ago. Doctor John and his wife had just moved in to their new down-sized home when he fell down the stairs, cracked his skull and never recovered. My partner is devastated but I’m sure it doesn’t even compare with the family’s grief. They had just seen the movie “Freedom” and they had plans to help stop child trafficking … but God had a better plan. “Sad. See you again, John,” said my partner in their group chat.

Bob the harmonica player

None of my band members heard from Bob (our harmonica player) all of last week. I only found out from a mutual friend that he had a near-fatal heart attack. Thanks to the doctors who put a stint on his artery on time. I had a long chat with Bob on the phone. I enjoyed sharing ideas with a friend whom I almost lost. I’m looking forward to Bob’s melancholy woodwind in a few weeks.

Jerry the gentle giant

Jerry, was a genuinely nice 6’2” giant with lots of friends and a huge family. In the last 5 years, he had his knees and hip replaced. He battled with chronic pain for months after and practically lived off pain killers. No one realized he was that sick. There was always hope that he would return to our breakfast meetings. Even though I knew Jerry didn’t share the same faith, something prompted me to text him and I sent him a long prayer. “Thank you dear friend,” he said, “I can use all the help you can muster.” The following week he was gone.

“People get ready there’s a train comin’.
You don’t need no baggage, you just get on board.
All you need is faith to keep the diesels humming.
You don’t need no ticket. You just thank the Lord.”
— A song by Curtis Mayfield

If you haven’t guessed it by now, I’m part of the Baby Boom generation. My circle of white haired friends are boarding that Train in record numbers. Life is fleeting.

People came knocking

As I was walking our dogs this morning, a herd of church people entered my community dressed in their Sunday best and with pamphlets in hand. Although I don’t particularly agree with their beliefs, I was open to have a discussion with them; however, when I returned home, they had already knocked at my door and left a pamphlet. Their brochure was an invitation to their upcoming convention on how to “Exercise Patience.” I appreciate the boldness of these well-meaning witnesses but I question their beliefs — do they believe that Jesus is the son of God? May God humble our hearts and guide our path to the truth.

All of this is a reminder of my mission to spread the gospel. Think about it: If being “saved” is all that matters, why didn’t God let the “saved” get on board the train immediately after they accepted Christ? If you are “saved” why aren’t you “saving” others? I believe Christians are here to lead others to the truth before the wrong crowds lead them elsewhere.

Sure, I respect other beliefs and I am willing to listen to other ideas (if you have questions, I have time for you) but so far, the truths in the Bible have answered all my questions without a doubt. Although we’re curious how people die and speculate what could have been, the fact is, the Train is coming for everybody. We just have different scheduled boarding passes. It isn’t about works — it’s nothing we can boast of. It’s about faith. It’s about God’s grace. Do your research, discuss, question, do what you have to do to settle things now. Get your ticket to get on board before it’s too late.

for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.”
— 1Thesolonians 1:5

Blessings to you all. TGIF people!

Raoul

BTW, thanks for all your prayers for my Ai talk. It went very well. People hung around for half an hour in animated discussions. I will be writing an article about this soon for travelingboy.com.

JOKE OF THE WEEK

Thanks to Marilou of Pila Laguna, Philippines

Original art by Raoul Pascual

Original art by Raoul Pascual.

Parting Shots

Thanks to Maling of New Manila, Philippines.

Thanks to Art of Sierra Madre, CA

I found these

The Traveling Boy

My good friend (and jokester) Terry and I came up with these.

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5 Comments

  1. Tom

    July 24, 2023 at 11:54 am

    Thanks Raoul, Great intro and so very true. I feel same way about witnesses. I will speak with them and admire their getting out and professing what they believe but have my own preference and belief. Take care and my condolences on those not with us anymore. Tom

    Reply

  2. Drexel

    July 24, 2023 at 11:56 am

    Raoul ….thought of the morning…suggest you get younger friends…have a good weekend, stay cool!

    Reply

  3. Lisa

    July 24, 2023 at 11:57 am

    Good message, Raoul!

    The jokes at the bottom had me rolling! Hahha!

    Reply

  4. Noel

    July 24, 2023 at 11:58 am

    Thank you, Raoul
    totally correct,,nasa boarding gate na people our age..
    all aboard!! pero sana delay lang muna LOL!

    (Translation: totally correct that people our age are about to board the train but I hope they delay it a little bit).

    Reply

  5. Richard

    July 24, 2023 at 11:59 am

    Thanks for sharing about Jerry, he was a good friend and inspiration.

    Reply

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