Sunday, August 21, 2011

Finding My Way: Every Day Foibles (Flaws)

Finding My Way: Every Day Foibles (Flaws): The inability to go through life with the option of having some of our assumptions challenged could be defined as obstinacy, bull he...

Finding My Way: The Importance of Dr. Seuss

Finding My Way: The Importance of Dr. Seuss: I have not always loved Dr. Seuss. At least I did not know until recent years just how much he was to be liked. Born Theodor Seus...

Sacred Cow Attack: Christian Parents That Serve Their Girls Up to The "Eye Candy" Culture

     As my kids and I were making our way through Callahan yesterday,  the Warrior Cheer squad was out doing a little fund raising on the street corners of our little city.    Some may drive through and reminisce about a long held tradition of small town spirit and a helpful flourish that all southern  small towns  are known for,  but I am reminded of something else and to share these thoughts will automatically make me anathema to people who at one point may have been my neutral acquaintances.   As time goes by and the more blunt I become,  the more I feel that some distance themselves from me if only to enjoy the feeling of being what they consider "less judgmental."     Well,  I will do my best to acquit myself of that charge and explain my position of never letting my girls join a team that at best promotes coy allure,   but at worst unashamedly displays young women as a sexy eye full of flesh.

     Here is an excerpt from an article that I think says it plainly:   Bobby Knight, long-time Indiana basketball coach, is known for speaking his mind. According to a recent report in the Houston Chronicle, if Knight were coaching in the pros, the first thing he would do would be to fire the cheerleaders. Referring to them as “bump-and-grind girls,” he said they are an unnecessary and inconsistent distraction: “It’s like we’re selling a picture of a naked gal on the cover of the Methodist hymnal.”

     I hear the din and stir that I'm causing right now within so many mothers who say "We are NOT promoting sexual debauchery with our daughters!"   To which I would reply,  "WHAT?!?!"    I remember occasions when I have dressed in clothes that were provocative(long way back, HaHa!) and if you do that while still being relatively attractive you can expect to be oogled, checked out,  and possibly felt up depending on who you are hanging out with.   Actually,  it's gotten so bad it doesn't really matter if you are dressed in any certain way.    The objectification of women and girls is truly astonishing, but what's even worse is that many a parent gives in to this team spirit parade simply because they too remember wanting to be "liked" or "popular."

     This Bible verse describes the young women we should at least be trying to raise.   I give you the words of the apostle Paul:  “Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension. Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness” (1 Tim. 2:8-10). In like manner, the apostle Peter encouraged Christian women to be chaste and respectful in their behavior and dress (1 Pet. 3:1-4).

     To read the above and not be struck with the direct contrast that  our daughters would exemplify while doing the tawdry dances,  sensuous routines,  and all the while dressed to excite is to be both mentally and spiritually blind.    Many will say,  well what about beach wear?   Or to take the text above seriously we cannot let our girls fix their hair and wear makeup!   Each of those are good points.   The gist of the above is about modesty,   a quiet spirit that does not seek to entice and lure men in a way that can and should be seen by Christian parents as unholy and perverse.     If you want to pretend that your beautiful daughters are not receiving into their soul the pride filled achievement and knowledge of giving men a reason to "look,"  then carry on in that way as long as it brings no trouble to your life or hers.   I do not wish this on any person though.     To try my best to live a "Christian Life" is to warn others when the bridge is out.     In our day and time I see many people bowing at the alter of worldliness,  popularity,  and the pressure to conform.

     One more verse:  "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. "--  James 4:4.

     In closing I would say that whether it's swim wear,  dance recital costumes,  new school clothes,  cheer uniforms, etc.,   just ask your self if you are teaching your daughter to guard the gift of her appearance or flaunt it to the downfall of men and women alike.     I am not judging others,  but if I am "real"  I have a duty to say that we've lost our way and we as Christian parents must find it again. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Survivors Guilt and Other Inexplicables

     A man gives up his seats on an airplane to a  couple who is desperate to be on the flight.   Some family crisis troubles them, but then the plane goes down.     Some individuals who should have been up on the highest floors of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001,  were stalled by some mundane detail that day and their lives were spared.     What does a parent do with statistics when their child is born with a rare disease  that is known to affect only 17 other people worldwide?     These are some of the most perplexing scenarios and there seems to be a hidden nugget of truth in them if you are brave enough to plumb the depths of such painful questions.     I am not deep enough or clever enough to know what I would make of these moments or how others should respond,  but it's tragically "human"  to be able to cipher these ironies and suffer the feeling of being really "Blessed" or the polar opposite, "Why Me?"

     The brevity and beauty of life is easily dismissed by some I am sad to say.     When a person is given the favor of good health,  looks,   or  placement in favorable circumstances and still grouses about it all,  or squanders that favor on bad choices (Amy Winehouse or Lindsey Lohan),   it causes the rest of us to be fooled into a belief that looks something like this,  "I would never be wasteful like that,"  or  "My children know better."    I am guilty of thinking that there are likely to be no ripples on the surface of our heretofore peaceful life in our own quaint little pond.     I know what the smug satisfaction of "Blessed" feels like.    The funny thing about the ripples in life is that they can and sometimes do drag us down,   but being an optimist is one of my most treasured traits simply because without it I am a wimp who would be tempted to let despair take to strong a hold.    Life is short and when one blessing seems in danger,   cling to what's left.     God does bless His children with good and perfect gifts.    Just don't let this world define for you "what" that perfect is. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Importance of Dr. Seuss

     I have not always loved Dr. Seuss.     At least I did not know until recent years just how much he was to be liked.   Born Theodor Seuss Geisel on March 2, 1904,   he eventually entered adulthood with the enviable memory of a life he had enjoyed growing up in.    He is of course better known by his pseudonym,  "Dr. Seuss," which also happened to be his middle name and his mother's maiden name.     His books have been translated into 20 different languages and Braille.  

     Is it any wonder that he is so well know with works like The Cat In The Hat, or my personal favorite,  Yertle the Turtle?     Yertle,   that books main character,  is a petulant brute who makes up his mind that all shall indulge him to create the throne that he deigns worthy of his position as the ruler of "the pond."     A man like Theodor Geisel,  who lived through two wars that ensued at the behest of similar brutes who's kingdoms needed expansion,   knew a little about the lunacy of such figures and the particularly narrow minded way they had of viewing others as well as the whole world.    As with most brutes,  no one or no thing is too small to be made into their footstool.     In our time as well as times past,  these sort of people have always taken time out of their important activities to decide what the other turtles of the pond should be doing.    Central planners!     Aha!   Now you see why I enjoy Dr. Seuss.   He took what many may see as trivial child chatter, and all the while he is schooling the young on how to spot a "Yertle" all by them self.  It's a quintessentially American thing to do.  

     When I meet someone interesting like a Dr. Seuss (via  his writings),  I wonder when another like him may come along.    Whether writing for kids or adults,  I think the primary purpose of all writers with heart is to discover some truth,  to illuminate meaning,  and to hail our souls from a foggy and stunted purpose.    If eating, drinking,  and sleeping were all it takes to stimulate us,  we'd be no better than a colony of meerkats.    Actually,  I believe if Dr. Seuss were still with us he would probably enjoy creating a new masterpiece with these interesting creatures in mind.   He claimed that his books began with doodles.     He dropped out of Oxford because he claimed that his studies were "astonishingly irrelevant."     Many parents love Dr. Seuss because of his contribution to a sizable library of early reading fun,  but I say that we should love him just as much because of his proof to the world, where academic snobbery abounds,  that the best gift of all is to actually think for one's self.                    

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Every Day Foibles (Flaws)

       The inability to go through life with the option of having some of our assumptions challenged could be defined as obstinacy,  bull headed,   and  intellectually dishonest.     If you have a valid belief in something you should probably be ready to defend those convictions.     Our country is so incredibly divided right now that it seems that some of us should be ready to give an explanation for our beliefs.   The defense of certain aspects of civilization  is the determining factor in whether many of these human experiments have lived or died.     Examples of civilizations that lived and eventually died on the pedestal of what they embraced  are many.    The ones that come to mind are Rome,   the Third Reich (Hitler's government) and in our modern day we see Britain last week struggling to maintain order and civility.     What is it that each of these varying societies saw happening right before the landlord came to collect?   What rising of human impetuosity and whim allows once civil people to give over to barbarian impulse?    Hitler's brown shirts and gestapo were,  as far as is known,  not raised on a diet of atrocity.   Rome had so many things going for it but eventually,  like pants that don't fit,  the seams of their collective well being burst open and they lost everything.    Britain today is grappling with chaos because as society and its civilized safety nets are eroded or invaded by alien belief systems,  the proverbial house of cards will eventually fall.    I love God's Word because it illustrates with perfect clarity,  in metaphors and parables,  the truths that are timeless enough to sustain any group, in any era.   

"A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free."    --Abrahan Lincoln.

"And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand."   --Mark 3:25 KJ

     The Bible said it clearly and  judging by Abraham Lincoln's choice of words,   he saw the wisdom of the point.      Rome successfully conquered many other peoples but their inability to maintain the fabric or ideas that allow the state  or it's people to live in harmony definitely contributed to it's eventual dissolution.     In Britain,  two warring ideas are colliding:    The work for a living crowd vs. the ever entitled profligates that believe the state exists to provide all with comfort and  ipods.     What can our country expect if we do not begin once again to build into our kids a knowledge based on self respect, respect for others,   and frankly,  a sense of shame if we ask for things that we do not want to work for?    The role of the state should be to protect it's citizens from the marauding vikings.     We all want safety,  security, and a belief that our property is indeed,  our property!   Mankind has these elements that,  if not restrained by threat of force,  would be happy to go from farm to farm,  grabbing up beautiful women and any livestock that hasn't been chained to the barn.     Okay,  I'm putting it humorously,   but place that same kind of people in business or government and imagine the damage we all suffer and are suffering at present.    I am frankly sick of how government officials can commit tax fraud or be found to be accepting bribes and yet they are free.   Like Charlie Rangel being found guilty of multiple indiscretions,  tax evasion tricks and all he received  was a censure.    Now if he had worked for Enron,  he would have had the book thrown at him and rightly so.     I am not blindly tied to any political party.   I have to,  like most people,  pick the less of two obviously flawed ideas.    The democratic party of my grandfather is not the same now as it was when he believed they fought for the "little guy."    High taxation,  overstepping government nannyism,  and flat out deception is how I characterize the modern Democratic crowd.    I do not absolve Republican's of their own dirty tricks.   Nothing like.  

      In respect to our divided  house I believe that it's critical that we each evaluate just how much is government really able to provide when it comes to questions of security,  happiness,  and life expectancy.     Giving government the right to other people's bank accounts in the name of fairness is the antithesis to actual fairness and it's not working out that well anyway.   For evidence of what I 'm saying look at the states of California and Michigan.     Redistribution fails  because as Margaret  Thatcher said,  "Socialism does not work because you eventually run out of other people's money."   That is true in two ways:   Hard workers will lose the motivation to bust the butt,  and no amount of confiscation can collect what's needed to support a society of takers.    This socialism idea leads to poverty for all.      

Monday, August 15, 2011

Do You Have Money? or Does It Have You?

     Should we spread the wealth?   Is it justified that some crown themselves as overseers of justice with the seemingly "benign"  intent of making things fair?    If you've been through childhood :)  then you probably remember that someone always had more toys than you,  someone always had more friends than you,  many were better looking than you even.     Why is it that "money" is crowned so regally?  Among all these other properties this one is chosen as the one in which sod topped men need to come along and straighten everything out.      Why not grab those Victoria's  Secret winged babes and scar their face with a bit of acid in order to make sure the hags out there have a fighting chance?     Why not take little Willie aside and explain that Mervil needs more toys and on threat of force we need him to be more generous.   Then,  if Willie still clings to his things,  give license to Mervil to submit a complaint before a trusted board of smarties who will make a "supposed"  fair judgment to settle the quarrel.     Better yet,  all the barren women out there,  they need babies too.   It's a crucial thing for Pete's sake!     Distribute babies evenly!     Maybe we just need to make sure no one has any reason to be jealous of others.
      I have a few thoughts on why money is singled out as the major battle ground amongst the world's power brokers.    "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil: which some reaching after have been led astray from the faith, and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows."  I Timothy 6:10 ASV.   A book written over thousands of years predicted the tragic role that money would play in so many  world events.   Here is a list of the evils that man has created because he covets wealth and the status that follows:
  • prostitution
  • pornography
  • alcohol *
  • gambling establishments
  • lottery pools
  • child sex rings
  • drugs
  • identity theft
  • some churches are just about money
  • wars have been fought for wealth.    Hitler was slobbering for his coveted "Lebensraum."
  • Pharmaceutical Drugs
  • ADHD 
     Now  the items on the list above are not all inherently about the evil pursuit of money.    Anything promoted despite the harm it causes people would fall into my description of "root of evil" category.    Not all pharmaceuticals are bad obviously,  but when a drug is not researched to an exhaustive degree before you begin promoting doc offices to prescribe it to lambs and sheep in order to control ADHD it takes a new and darker shade.    The drug Gardasil  was almost foisted,  without consent of  the parents,  on 11 year old girls in the state of Texas.   It had not been researched or tested thoroughly enough and yet Governor Rick Perry of Texas tried to lead the noble charge to mandate it for all 6th grade girls.   One of his staff has a cozy relationship with Merck(the drug's manufacturer) and let's not be naive about the major moula that was involved with Rick Perry's mandate attempt.   At $120.00 a shot,  it stood to be a rewarding venture for quite a few.     We all want to believe that no politician would ever sell preteen girls into guinea pig status for "Giant Pharmaceutical,"  but don't be hasty with that assumption.  A judge was caught receiving money from the owner of a detention center for juvenile's  for helping fill the beds with innocent teens.   1,000 of those convictions have been overturned to date.   Maybe more.

     My premise is this:  We can't and should not trust other, equally fallible men with the golden goose!  If we do not have checks and balances in place it will grow to the enormous, wasteful proportions that we witness right now in America.   A man made system of redistribution is based on the premise that we should reward covetous envy.    I do not object to real outreach to real destitution.   Disabled folks,  helpless children,  elderly people,  etc.     In times past,  charity was a mission of the church.    When a church handles this, we have the opportunity to hand them not only nourishment for their bodies,  but nourishment for the soul!   The bread of life and living water.     I am in the unenviable position of knowing what it's like to be kind of desperate,  but we hope to keep the fire and determination to dig our way out.     When you give people a chance to lay down and give up,  it's another wrong altogether.            
*Many will disagree that alcohol needs to be on this list.   Wine is fine they say.  That's a personal decision.    Notably,  Budweiser does not do commercials on damaged liver and drunk driving death rates.    The abuse of fried chicken is indeed egregious, but it will only damage the arteries of the fried chicken abuser.

You Can't Make This Stuff UP!

     Once upon a time,  a new mother gathered up her sweet children and went down to the local homeless shelter to  provide care and love to the communities impoverished residents.   No kindness was spared as she walked an old lady across the street in love for the stranger.    Whilst doing such a worthy deed,  the new baby and the mother's older child were waiting back on the opposite side, patiently awaiting their mothers return.     Another woman stood with them,  posing as one in need of clothing.    Suddenly, baby began to cry!   The beautiful sister jumped into motherly action to search out the baby's pacifier to soothe and comfort the wee little babe.     The lady in need of clothing posed as a helping hand and began to dig in the mother's purse, ostensibly looking for a pacifier along with the beautiful sister.    No matter how the sister objected that the comforting object would never be in such a place,  the lady continued digging in another's gold mine.    The wretched soul got an extra $20 for her efforts and the mother got a cruel favor returned for her good favor.  *

     The world is suffering.    Many are in need of  mercy,  forgiveness,  help,  and clothing.   There are starving people who really cannot figure out where the food or light bill money will come from.     The above story is a true one.    It happened to a friend of mine today as she was working in the cup ministry at our church.     It sends a shiver through the soul when you realize that such a person can stand near someone's little baby and scavenge through a mother's purse for some petty cash to steal.    We all need the reminder that evil is real.     I don't think any of us are prepared to respond to the slap that stings the face in such a moment.     You have to remind yourself that the story of mankind is exactly one of God creating beauty,  life,   and harmony.    Consistently,  no matter what good and beauty he has offered us,  we have spat at Him,  mocked Him,  and reviled Him with our accusations of, "unfair"  or  "what about me?"    

      The ugly truth of my friends circumstance has several opportunities and lessons.   First,  watch your back and your purse.    Second,  doing an act of kindness for another does not ensure their returning the same decency.    We could get all uppity about it and say,  "How dare!"  or we can remember many times small or big we had the same attitude.   Maybe as a teen you "borrowed" from people and never got around to making it right, or maybe you leave work daily with a pack of "post its,"   consoling yourself with how the company will never notice.     Rest assured,  deeds that are done by the money snatcher and each of us will be punished.   God offers His forgiveness freely though.   The power of this act is transforming.    My friend spoke to me and we both agreed that it was a small offense in the big scheme of it all.     Prayers for the woman that was bold enough in her darkened heart to not feel the enormity of such an act.    Her soul is worth more than twenty measly bucks.           
*  Some details  of the event were altered,  but the essentials are quite true. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Get It On

     Excuse me for the sensationalistic header!    It's attention grabbing is it not?   Well,  let me acquit myself of any notion that I mean to glorify such a crude and common sentiment.     Every time I watch TV,  movies,  or simply listen to radio stations I hear and see examples of this mindset.     The other day I was unfortunately exposed(I was a guest at someone else's home)  to the crude dialogue and perversion that the show Two and a Half Men promotes.    Charlie Sheen's  character is at a restaurant with his lady friend  who's college room mate has joined them for dinner.  All the while that the two women are chatting and catching up I was subjected to all the thoughts running through Charlie's mind.   It was all about threesomes, cheating,  staring at the room mates assets.    Vulgar is such a mild word for this internal soliloquy that I actually felt embarrassed to be in the room listening to it with others present.

     Consider the words of Marvin Gaye's hit song:

I've been really tryin', baby
Tryin' to hold back this feeling for so long
And if you feel like I feel, baby
Then, c'mon, oh, c'mon
Let's get it on
Ah, baby, let's get it on
Let's love, baby
Let's get it on, sugar
Let's get it on
We're all sensitive people
With so much to give
Understand me, sugar
Since we've to be here
Let's live
I love you
There's nothing wrong with me
Loving you, baby no no
And giving yourself to me can never be wrong
If the love is true
Don't you know how sweet and wonderful life can be
I'm asking you baby to get it on with me
I ain't gonna worry
I ain't gonna push, won't push you baby
So c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, baby
Stop beatin' 'round the bush
Let's get it on
Let's get it on
You know what I'm talkin' 'bout
C'mon, baby
Let your love come out
If you believe in love
Let's get it on
Let's get it on, baby
This minute, oh yeah
Let's get it on
Please, let's get it on
C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, baby
Stop beatin' 'round the bush
Oh, gonna get it on
Threaten' you, baby
I wanna get it on
You don't have to worry that it's wrong
If the spirit moves ya
Let me groove ya good
Let your come down
Oh, get it on
C'mon, baby
Do you know the meaning?
I've been sanctified
Girl, you give me good feeling

      Reading these lyrics clues us in to how crude and debased God's beautiful gift to human kind has become.   Mind you,  these words are for sissies if compared to  the modern diet of a rap music fan.    The funny thing about the song above is that he croons about not being pushy but says "Let's Get It On"  about 30 times!    Let's be real,   if we abuse something that literally has the power of life and death involved,  then we can expect to see the sad corpses of failed relationships,  disease,  abused women and children,  men who've made a tragic gamble,  and a lost civilization.    Generations of kids are being raised in a smut factory.     Controlling your kids viewing choices,  music library, and friend picks is not overkill.   It's smart!    While you are at it,   censor the trash you put in as well.   I don't recommend anyone actually watch Two and a Half Men.    You could fall into the same thought patterns as the show's most vile character.   I doubt Ashton Kutcher's introduction will make it any better.
Sensuality is actually best enjoyed within the right bounds.    It's not a popular thing to say and you could be called a prude or worse.     Well,  laugh away cruel world.    Laugh while you cry at the memory of all the lovers that finally rejected you,  children you may have had if that pushy boyfriend had not insisted you get "it" taken care of,   or  who you might have married if you had not branded yourself as "used."     Marriage is a statement to the world and your choice of a partner that this person is so important that you will "promise."     Also,  more importantly,  God will bless the act of marrying.   God never intended for this gift to be turned on it's head,  turned into a curse.    In the world's motto of "Let's Get it On"  we see sex being used as a weapon that destroys people in too many categories to be named.      This is my humble take on the matter.    I may be called judgmental,   but it's imperative that we(Christians)  expose the sensual lies of the destroyer.   He truly is roaming around,  seeking who he can devour.    

It's The New Slavery

     In living a christian life we use catchy ways to describe our transformation from bound and suffering to released and victorious.   The stories of bondage to habits, music, thoughts,  programs and substances that destroy not only the human body but also the human soul are many.   The things that make us unique also make us prey to different  hang ups.   We are not victims.   We have a choice to make.   The  mistake that many make is thinking they can play with fire and never experience the heat.    Step close to the abyss and never fall in.    Sin has all the allure with  none of the warning bells.

    I'm convinced that many would stay put in their marriage if they just had the ability to see their new life and it's degenerative effects 10 years out.   That lovely cliche' about the grass on the other side being greener is so apt.  That grass you see over there is indeed attractive,  but  what if you knew it would be grass with infestation?   Infested with guilt,  lies told and received, abandonment of another and forsaking of children.  Several years out you discover that the new play thing is treacherous enough to steal a spouse, play provocateur to other men, and harm people's children.   While considering the affair,  nobody seems to ask them self what kind of female would lure a man away from his vows, his wife, his kids, and his peace.   A mean woman is the kind that would do that.   "The woman approached him, seductively dressed and sly of heart." --  Proverbs 7:10.     Once the ensnared man receives the poisonous woman into his heart the damage is already done.    The warning bell that God blessed us with is called your conscience or "Jiminy Cricket."   Listen to the cricket!

Some other issues that wait to ensnare:
  •   drugs and alcohol
  •   gossip
  •   greed
  •   hate
  •   laziness
  •   fault  finding
  •   pornography
    The best clue you have that you are walking close to the edge is when you suddenly have things to hide.   There's your warning bell.   Jesus is known as a light in the darkness for a reason.   It's because light does not hide anything!  Counterfeits are scary because they so closely resemble  what you know to be true and good.  Notice the words of this verse:  "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light."  --2 Corinthians 11:14.    If Satan wants to lead you astray he will not drop the bare hook right in front of you.  He will bait that hook to look as attractive as possible.    Reading your Bible daily is like having an internal hook detector.    Slavery has always existed.   In thinking about the current  bondage that our country falls into with daily relish,  I see that we have taken the pretty hooks.   The new slavery takes up some old vice and fixes the hair in a new and stylish fashion,  paints the face up to cover the warts,  and then shoves the two of you in bed together.   This is why the Bible says to "flee" from evil.    Good luck noticing the hooks and traps that are set to claim you for the wrong team.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

How You Can Vote For Jesus In Our Next Election

    Here is an excerpt from an excellent article I read:   "When it comes to picking a President, Gandhi had it right: "The obligation of accepting a position of power is to be, above all else, a good human being."
"You've got to be kidding," one hears our CNN commentator saying. "'Good human being'? Who's to say what constitutes a 'good human being'? I want someone competent to run the country." Wrong again. Competence without virtue is poisonous. It simply makes one more effective at doing wrong. Furthermore, being virtuous is, in itself, an expression of competence. Since virtue is a requirement for leadership, a lack of virtue in a leader is a sign of incompetence and grounds enough for rejecting that leadership. Virtue is a personal matter, but it is never wholly a private one, certainly not in a President." --Daniel Taylor and Mark McCloskey

      Now you may ask,  "How do we know if our choice is virtuous?"   In this incredible information age of blogs,  investigative journalism vigilantes, and myriad alternative news sources there is no excuse for not examining closely the life and previous decisions of any candidate that we see being offered.  First I  recommend being cautious about any candidate that the main news media or any seeming lackeys to any political party are foisting on us.   Think "John McCain" and his too buttery slide into the top GOP pickings.    Sadly,  many lies and broken promises later by politicians on both sides,  we all need to be skeptics.   Do not be spoon fed any belief or dogma.   Consider the following:   

"These six things the Lord hates, indeed, seven are an abomination to Him:   A proud look,  a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,  a heart that manufactures wicked thoughts and plans,  feet that are swift in running to evil,  a false witness who breathes out lies,  and he who sows discord among his brethren." --Proverbs 6:16-19.

Well if we take the above account into serious consideration we would needfully eliminate most of our current stock of sated cows in government!    The above list can help us choose the right man.   All pro-abortion candidates can be marked off.   Every candidate that speaks slanders and lies against his opponent would be eliminated!   Haha!   We can just call off the whole 2012 election!    The pick for our next president will be hard to find, but I suggest that we all begin praying now for the person who best fits the right mold to come forward.    No matter what,  we will get another flawed human who will need to have a background in virtuous living,  truth telling,  and life respecting example offerings.   No amount of gold embellishments should blind us to the flaws and character malfunctions that give us a window into the true man or woman.    

    Choosing Jesus for our next President means adhering to His guidelines for moral living and government.    Our country has a long history of shedding innocent blood(abortion), lying("I did not have sex with that woman"),  running swiftly to evil(pornography),  and  sowing discord among brethren(blacks to the back).    We should at least be able to tell Jesus that we were careful in who we allowed power to either uphold justice or pervert justice as usual.

Home Schooling Points and Practicalities

     In the "about me" section I casually mention that I have eight kids.       How to have eight kids, home school and conquer more laundry every week than a diaper service should be interesting to many.    I hope to bolster the pride you hopefully have in how incredibly important the role of homemaker is.    I am no stranger to seeing  home life as a frying  pan that always keeps me struggling, frazzled, and deflated.   Falling into bed at night in an exhausted heap is my normal.     Is there a way to be a great mom and maybe loosen up on our high hopes and often unachievable demands?     Many of us are proud to be obsessive parents--It's a badge to wear honorably perhaps.   "I do this better than everyone else and I make sure everyone knows it."   I sometimes need to remind myself  of the fact that in trying to have all aspects of my life fit into a template,  I am actually destroying the spontaneity that makes life fun and interesting for all of us.  These are general principles to keep in mind in order to save your sanity and still be a person that your spouse and kids enjoy,  but I will explain more about our choice to home school.

  • Spiritual concerns about the dragging down that so many kids from Christ centered homes experience once they are put in the peer group spin cycle.
  • A concern about safety.  The alarming rate of the all new "cyber bullying" bears this out to some degree.    
  • Discipline is becoming ever weaker in schools.    Many kids face very little consequence for ever increasing anti-social behaviors.
  • Sexual promiscuity
  • Drug and alcohol abuse among kids. 
  • Absence of biblical world view teaching and training in a setting that would be my child's main training ground.  
  • Pedophile teachers and administrators.
     This is a short list of my major reasons for home school choice.    I am saddened by the unchecked growth of all that I described above and fully realize that I'm accused of throwing out all the good just because of "some" bad.     As a Christian parent  these issues cannot be taken lightly if we believe in this verse,  "You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise." --Deuteronomy 6:7 ESV.     I cannot and do not speak for anyone else.    Many traps have been set in this country and they are not easily escaped.    If you home school as well,  then I hope you feel affirmed because I know we don't get much of that.    I encourage all Americans to be open to freedom in choice for their kids and others kids where education is concerned.   Nothing is more important than the plans and purposes that will be relayed to a child's heart by his or her many notable influences.   While we are setting a guard at the door of our hearts,  let us seek the same for our future generations.        

God's Love is a Symphony

     There is nothing quite like the feeling of being stranded, forgotten, devalued and maybe trampled upon. Notably, I am speaking  metaphorically.    Sadly though,  many people around us are forgotten, trampled, unloved and they no longer hear the music that gives light, air, and water to the thirsty soul.    In my own circumstances I feel the indelible mark of being on the outside trying to get in.    It is with exactly this trial that God has shed the light of a new purpose on my soul.     Who will God place in my path to encourage, share with,   or just befriend?    The purpose of living for God will cause you without fail to head in the direction of helping others.    It is God's love spread abroad in the heart of each and every true follower of Him that places the motivation to dry up another's tears,  feed them,  or simply give them your time.

"He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow,  and loves the the alien, giving him food and clothing."   Deuteronomy  10:1

      It is said in the Bible that man cannot live by bread alone.     I have food and shelter and yet my heart yearns for something more.    I do not know  for certain what broken soul God will place in my path,  but if you are searching for that something that will give you meaning and a mission,  then consider every person you meet to be an opportunity to heal a hurt or provide a need.    One of my favorite parts of Les Miserables is when the priest denies that the thief, Jean Valjean, had stolen his expensive silver.   The priest tells the gendarmes that the goods that were found on Valjean's person was actually a gift.   The truth was that Valjean had knocked the priest over the head and stole them!    The priest tells Valjean that with the silver he has ransomed his soul from fear and hatred and now he's (priest) giving him back to God.     It's an incredible literary moment and Victor Hugo outdid him self  with that illustration.    We,  if we really love Christ,  are His ambassadors to a demented, twisted world.   One act of love can and sometimes does break the ice around another's heart.   Try it and see what happens. 

     Creative ways to release the Valjeans in your life:

1.   Give your  uncle your seat at the Thanksgiving table after he insults your husband.

2.   Say a prayer for the next person that flips you off in traffic.

3.   Say a prayer for yourself if you flip off someone in traffic.

4.   Take freshly baked cookies to the neighbor that is constantly screaming at your kids to keep off his 

5.    Give every person a second chance.  

     What if we knew of a verse that says to just keep being nice in the face of the rudest treatment?  Oh...look we do!     "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."   Romans 12:21 KJV
Look how, like a laser,  the Word of God cuts the smoggy pollution in our soul!    It's not easy but it will be transforming in many circumstances.   The people who do not respond or show any feeling despite your best efforts needs your prayers.   It's very true that we are only half of the musical.   If you are  blasted back by belching trombones and  heavy percussion then leave knowing you responded in a way that leaves you at peace.

Grow Your Tree in The Right Direction

     Have you ever seen those sad trees that seem to have taken a beating or at least a strong pressure during their formative years?    They are bent over as if they caught polio for trees when they were young.   In trees it may be regarded as a slight thing to be slavishly bent over paying constant homage to the ground,  but in people like you and me it is another thing entirely.    I believe all mankind was and is created with a spark of the divine,  also known as created in God's image.  When we lose sight of that we will grow into a gnarled,  knotted former shadow of what we could have been.    In the life that God wants for each of us we are in His presence, speaking to Him,  happy to be spoken to by Him.    Every time we run from God(also known as sin),  we are growing our tree into the bent, misshapen disaster that all of us are doomed to if no reconciliation takes place.    Jesus is truly your sunshine, water,  and carbon dioxide.  To get all the properties correct for photosynthesis you must have this combination or you will first grow awkwardly and eventually die in a twisted shell that was not meant for you.   The most famous verse in The Holy Bible is this:  "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."  John 3 :16 NIV.    These words are words of love to any that wishes to turn from sin,  take Jesus by the hand, and begin growing upward,  receiving light and love from the creator of the Universe.     Of course there are naysayers out there who will think my little metaphor about stunted trees is just a bunch of rubbish,  but it is a very sad risk to take.    So in closing,  you are invited  to join your fellow saplings in growing up strong through Christ Jesus.   

Friday, August 12, 2011

What if Your Prayers Seem Unanswered?

     Well,  I'll be honest, this is one of life's tough questions.    Think of your life as a flash flood.   You are desperately clinging to a tree top for survival.   Several coolers from your neighbors garages have floated by-- oh, there goes  a raft from Mrs. Miller's pool.    Do you continue clinging to the tree?  The water is getting higher.  You may need to rethink this.    Perhaps the coolers that keep floating by will get you through this mess you are in.   Life is very similar.    God wants to help us but we have these stubborn strongholds that tie us to the wrong things.     I cannot be sure why your prayers seem unanswered,  but I can tell you that it's in these moments of piercing silence that God sometimes sends us the clues to find out His will for us.   What we have determined to be the best outcome for ourselves very much influences the way we look at the bigger picture.    You may have prayed for patience.   Your kids are making you crazy!   Well,  ask yourself if God may not accomplish what you are asking for through the trial and error of learning to deal with your kids.    Another obvious point is that we sometimes think we need this or that and God just knows better.     It's no fun to receive that news,  but just know that all things work for the good of those that love Him.

     A personal story:   Here  we(my husband and I)  are,  struggling along with a jobless quagmire, feeling like it's going to eventually swallow us.    We have  prayed until our words have given out it seems.     The one shot we really thought he had to land a new job in the education sector has ended.   When I say that I was deflated I am understating it greatly.   Despair would be a good word to describe my most base reaction.   It was and to an extent still is an expression of fear.    Yes, I have talked to God, cried, begged, pleaded with Him to intervene on our behalf and yet we hear the piercing silence, the frustration of each and every job interview that fell flat on it's face it seems.    I could definitely go bitter,  acrimonious,  rage filled,  but I am,  with great pain I might add,  seeing that God may really need to put us through all this in order to grow us stouter legs,  more faith,  less pathetic complacency.    If you want a miracle  then pray for one,  but make sure you are aware that it will happen eventually and it might not be what you expected.    God has our best at heart so give in and give the whole of your life and troubles to Him.

Getting Rid of Life Clutter

    Are you one of those people who's afraid to throw things away for fear that you will forget a long held memory?   Well if that's you,  something besides physical junk could be clogging your experiences,  fogging your view and in general just holding you back.   It's life clutter.   It's worry, fear, anger,  bitterness, unforgiveness.     Each of these emotions are telling you that you need to let go of something.   Letting go of control of others,  career problems,  or just a bad day can go a long way in restoring joy to your perspective.     Make a vow to yourself to only dwell on any  given problem for the time it takes to resolve it or give in to it.   You've probably heard the phrase,  "Go with the flow."  Well,  such good advice sometimes needs to be taken!   We all need peace in our soul in order to be rested and ready for what's next.   In my life the only real constant has been an enduring faith in Christ to bring me through the bad times.   I am definitely living in one of those moments.    My husband has been jobless for going on 8 months now and I am grappling with the age old admonishment to give my burdens to Him(Jesus) and just trust with all my heart.   That is what faith is.   Believing that Jesus is working on my behalf and waiting patiently for the good that will surely come of it.     If you have read this far then you are most likely seeking an answer to your own disaster.    Start with a prayer that gives your faults and failings to Jesus,   a belief that he really is Lord,  and a courageous stand for Him in every step you take.   Then just wait on answers as you seek His presence daily.   God bless until next time!