Thanksgiving 2023

Marcia and I are grateful for the many blessings we have received in our lives. Yes, we would have some things be different than they are, but life goes on. We cannot decide what others choose. We trust God.

So, we enjoyed together, the two of us, the preparation of our Thanksgiving dinner. Marcia was the wonderful, loving chef that prepared many of her family’s traditional dishes. And to boot, we had apple pie as desert. The food was presented on Blacklidge family China and bowls and served with Blacklidge Sterling Silver tableware. We felt the presence of ancestors from both sides of our family. They shared with us the time together.

At the same time, we pray for our country and the world. We pray for protection and blessings for those we dearly love.

Now we move on to the Christmas season and recognition of the birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Guide.


“It took most of human history for our  population to reach 1 billion—and just over 200 years to reach 8 billion. But growth has begun slowing, as women have fewer babies on average. When will our global population peak? And how can we minimize our impact on Earth’s resources, even as we approach 10 billion?” American Museum of Natural History

Now demographers are predicting human population on planet Earth will peak at about 10 billion. That is when birth rates and death rates are predicted to equalize. The big question is whether planet Earth can survive at this level of human beings. In his book, 10 Billion, Dr. Stephen Emmott, who is the head of Computational Research at MicroSoft Research, does not think so.

Emmott summarizes his conclusions on the last two pages of his book. “The biggest and most important experiment on Earth is the one we’re all conducting, right now, on Earth itself. Only an idiot would deny that there is a limit to how many people our Earth can support. The question is, is it seven billion (our current population [which is now 8 billion]) ten billion, or twenty-eight billion? I think we have already gone past it (at 7 billion). Well past it.”

“We could change the situation we are now in. Probably not by technologizing our way out of it, but by radically changing our behavior. But there is no sign that his is happening or about to happen. I think it’s going to be business as usual for us. As a scientist, what to I think about our current situation? Science is essentially organized skepticism. I spend my life trying to prove my work wrong or look for alternative explanations for my results. I hope I’m wrong. But the science points to my not being wrong. “

“As I said at the beginning, we can rightly call the situation we’re in an unprecedented emergency. We urgently need to do — and I mean actually do — something radical to avert a global catastrophe. But I don’t think we will. I think we’re fucked.”

The two most populated countries on Earth are China and India. Chinese population is estimated at a little over 1.4 billion. India’s population is also at a little over 1.4 billion. In comparison, USA population is about 332 million. The continent of Africa population is a little over 1.2 billion and growing. All ten countries with the highest birth rates are African with those in the Middle East being not far behind along with some in South America. And take a look at living conditions in most of those countries. Many at poverty levels.

What happens then? Population number pressure in one area results in pressure to migrate to areas of lower population and higher standards of living. We are seeing this worldwide which is causing major disruptions to countries and cultures. Look at Europe and the USA now. It is happening. The hordes are moving. And unless there is back pressure, it will continue.

Until we face head on the fact that Earth cannot support an ever increasing human population — or even the current population level — the planet is headed for biological collapse. The wisest decision is to find ways to gradually decrease human numbers and consumption levels and natural resource use over time, but no one appears to really take this seriously. Unfortunately, Dr. Stephen Emmott may be right…… “Fucked”.

Christianity & Islam

Time for Western nations to wake up. There is a war again between nations predominantly Christian and those predominantly Muslim. This is against a backdrop of over 2000 years. In short, Christianity and Islam are incompatible. Islam today is dominated by violent aggressors wanting to take over the world. The goal is to overtake any nation or peoples that are Christian or Jewish. It cannot be allowed to happen.

All western European nations have their roots in Christianity. Hundreds of years ago, they had to beat back Islamic aggressors. With the hordes of Muslim illegal immigrants that have flooded into Europe, they may have to do it again.

The United States of America was founded by Christians. Those that wrote the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were not Muslims, nor Buddhists, nor Hindus, nor any other religion found around the world. They were Christians. The USA is a Christian based country. Yes, there are minorities of a variety of religions now in the USA, but none except Islam followers seem to be aggressive and wanting to take over the “West”. It cannot be allowed to happen.

Our southern border is being flooded with illegal aliens. The DHS reports there are hundreds of potential terrorists among those who have crossed the US border. And who are these terrorists: followers of Islam.

It is time to slam the US borders shut to all illegal aliens with particular attention to Islamists. It is time to export all illegal aliens, again with particular attention to Islamists. And it is time to keep a very close eye on all Islam communities existing already in our country. I heard even this week that New York City has proposals for there to be more mosques and public loud speakers that call for Islam prayers during the day. This, too, must be stopped.

Christians must be prepared to defend the country and the Christian faith. The Judeo-Christian roots must be made stronger. Otherwise, the country is in peril.

The Father

I have included here an image of a small wood carved piece that spoke to me at the Hallmark store as it was closing up for good. I am father to four children: Dawn, Jill, Doug, and Mark. From the day each was born, I treasured each. I did my best to help raise them and be supportive as they grew from infants to young adulthood. I deeply love them all in spite of some really rough times along the way. Their mother and I were divorced in 1979 after 19 years of marriage. This was an action I was advised by a clinical psychologist to take some 9 years earlier, but I just could not leave my children. Following the divorce, my two sons and I lived within a mile of our original family home for many years. Some 7 years after my divorce, I married again. This time to a remarkable and very loving woman whom I feel is my soul mate and whose daughter became as precious to me as my original four. Our marriage is now in its 38th year.

The monstrous and grotesque problem that has existed for now 44 years is my first wife never came to mature terms with the divorce. She made it her goal in life to never allow a blended family. She was not having any of that. She successfully prevailed over all of her four children who became adults over the years and then on to the grandchildren. What a tragedy. And the children, now middle aged adults, seemingly never questioned what was going on. They catered to her every wish and about literally worshiped the ground she walked on.

I cannot, however, absolve myself from responsibility. Had I been forceful and direct from the beginning with her and with the “children” and not allowed lies to stand, things may have been different. That I did not do at now a great cost. The mother of the four was not an innocent victim as she so successfully made herself out to be.

The result of her actions and attitudes — and my lack of forcefulness particularly early on — is they, the “children”, have now only one living parent, the father, and one living step-mother; both of whom were exiled long ago. Their mother and her subsequent husband of decades (their step father whom they ultimately embraced) died this year, 2023.

This entire story is sad and all laid at the feet of now one who is deceased as well as at my feet. Nice going. Of course, the “children” will continue blindly on as will the grandchildren. Again, sad.

The Bible

Mark's Bible
Mark’s Bible

For the Christmas 1984, I gave each of my children, Mark being one, a Bible. I hoped this Bible would be a light to them along their paths. This was over 38 years ago. Much has passed since then.

Mark died on March 18th, 2023. His life was much too short. He was born in 1966, December 9th.

One rainy day after Mark had died, I happened to go out the west passage door of our garage. This was not a normal way out for me. Much to my surprise, this Bible in its original worn box was laying on the concrete walk in front of me. I learned later one of Mark’s daughters, Kelcie, had returned it to me. I am grateful.

What did I see. I saw something Mark had treasured for over 38 years. I saw a Bible he had protected in its original box that was now worn on its edges. I took the Bible from the box and opened the leather cover. Inside I read, ….. “In All Your Ways, Acknowledge Him; And He will make your Paths Straight”; Proverbs 3:6. And I read, “To Mark, With Much Love, Your Pop. Christmas 1984”

And there was the original letter I had written to my children. The last paragraph reads… “I love you all very much and I hope this Bible will help make your Way a little easier as you go. Look for the gems as you read and your life will become fuller for it. Remember, the teachings and truths all already reside in your own hearts and the Bible cannot really tell you anything you do not already know deep inside. It can only help bring them to your consciousness.”

But what caught my most attention was the red ribbon marker. I opened the page marked. There was the 23rd Psalm in front of me. There was the Psalm Mark had chosen to make his favorite….. ‘The Lord is my shepherd…….. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

His father misses the good days we had.