Just The Facts, Ma’am

Before my time, it first showed up in 1949

DragnetAt least, that’s what my research shows. Dragnet. Sargent Joe Friday (Jack Webb). Before Joe Friday (Harry Morgan). A Radio Show. Realistic to the idea of showing how crimes were solved by the civil servant we hire to protect us – the police.

I remember it in a vague and off-hand way. Black and white TV. And that infamous line, “Just the facts, ma’am”, and sometimes expanded, “…and you too, sir.”

Just the Facts. 

How do you get facts? Everything we know, it would seem, is shaded by who we are, where we came from, and how we chose to see the world. Our memories are plagued by taught and forgotten subjects, and the facts presented from all sources – including fictional stories. We shade them with our listening, memorization and recall skills.

Often flagrantly incorrect.

This past weekend was spent with family. As is our case we often reminisce through our past shared memories. Then, alone with just one, I asked about personal memories – often googling for facts. With dad I learned some new things.

  • Like dad’s troop ship that took him to Germany and returned him home nearly 2 years later. The USAT General Alexander M. Patch. Dad’s biggest memory was the constant sickness for the 8 day trip! But the facts show the ship started with a previous name (Countz – 1944-1946) before being recommissioned as the Patch (1946). And her it stayed through various other uses until sold for scrap to a company in Brownsville, TX (2001).
  • When he decided to quit school, the superintendent went out to the house to try and change his mind. They needed him (to drive the bus)! He would pass, they would make sure of it!
  • Even back then they had to take a driving test to get their drivers license!

Here’s a thought for you. How much do you know about the facts of living as presented by your memories, and from the source of the person who experienced it? My parents both lived through December 7th, 1941 (Day of Infamy), and I only know it from facts presented through my studies. Most of the kids in my church know nothing about 9/11, but most of us have startling memories about that day.

We have memories based upon our timing to the event, and then how we shade it with our feelings and emotions. In other words, we often let our perspective cloud the facts and we make decisions that affect our choices based on feeling rather than facts.

Feeling: “I feel like I could just walk on a cloud!” Fact: Impossible without a Gravity Reducer!
Feeling: “I don’t think mom would mind if we did this!” Fact: Mom will wear your bottom out!
Feeling: “I think I have enough gas…” Fact: Time will tell!

When we live on “feeling” we often call it Faith. Yet, faith not based on truth or facts is makes us to live in a fairy tale. “I’ve go it made in the shade!” This reminds me of John writings in the Book of Revelations. Especially to the last of the seven churches. Some think he’s writing to specific locations, while others think he was writing to time periods of the church. If he’s writing out of time, then the last church could easily be the present church.

Write to Laodicea, to the Angel of the church. God’s Yes, the Faithful and Accurate Witness, the First of God’s creation, says: “I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You’re not cold, you’re not hot–far better to be either cold or hot! You’re stale. You’re stagnant. You make me want to vomit. You brag, ‘I’m rich, I’ve got it made, I need nothing from anyone,’ oblivious that in fact you’re a pitiful, blind beggar, threadbare and homeless.  (Revelation 3:14-17 MSG)

You think and live one way. Oblivious to the fact of how God sees you. Pitiful. Blind. Beggar. Without sufficient coverings. Homeless, and probably because you make this temporary world your home.

Delusional? Perhaps. You live out your life in your own little world with the your view of “facts”. Time will prove you right or wrong. Maybe too late to make adjustments to your belief system. Maybe not. But who around you pays the price for your mistakes? Our choices lead others, who at various times are complete innocents.

Data Mining 001This is often my struggle with life.

I want to know the “facts”. Absent those then I want to make intelligent choices based upon available truth. Often mined myself instead of listening to another persons presentation of their view of the truth.

How do you get the facts from life?



2 thoughts on “Just The Facts, Ma’am

  1. Pastor Gurley, Wow! Profound thoughts you have penned. I have been thinking about Revelations 3 also with regard to a spiritual vacany. We have all of our needs, our wealth and our ego, but there remains a spiritual vacancy that we try to fill with all things, but only God can fill this space. Mankind is in such a quandary, but many refuse to let God complete them!


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