"Language, as well as the faculty of speech, was the immediate gift of God." ~ Noah Webster

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Goin' There

Another favorite song for me! Besides being a way to share what I love, posting these videos gives me a means to easily find the ones I don't want to lose or forget.

Mr. Trace Adkins outdoes himself on this one. Absolutely LOVE it...enjoy and "Turn it up some."

"Wayfaring Stranger"
I am a poor wayfaring stranger
Traveling through this world of woe
But there's no sickness; no toil; no danger
In that bright world to which I go.

I'm going there to see my mother
She said she'd greet me when I come
I'm only going; goin' over Jordan
I'm only going over home.
Yes, Lord.

I know dark clouds are gonna gather around me
I know my way is rough and steep
But beautiful fields lie there just before me
Where God's redeemed their vigils keep.

I'm going there to see my father
I'm going there no more to roam.
I'm only going; goin' over Jordan.
I'm only going over home.
Take me home, now.

I can almost see the lights of home.
Shining at home...


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Silly Redneck Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is almost upon us. I think most people stop at this time of year to think about things for which they are thankful. I know it is something that is on my mind a bit more, during this time, than is usual. I see a few people on Facebook posting a new comment each day regarding a thankful thought.

Other than the obvious things for which we are all thankful: faith; family; friends; good health; a country that actually sets apart a day to thank the Creator, I decided I have had enough seriousness the last few weeks, and that it might be time to talk about some of the silly things for which I am thankful. I thought it might be fun to write about some of the things that one may not always stop to remember and appreciate. So leaving all serious things behind; below is my silly list.

  • I just heard on the news that Thanksgiving is the busiest time of all for airlines. The day after Thanksgiving is the second busiest day. To my surprise, it even beat out Christmas for air travel. I kind of like that. It says people choose to travel on Thanksgiving to see those they love, but they chose to stay home for Christmas. I think that’s cool. More people are at home at Christmas. Though it may seem silly, I’m thankful for that.
  • I’m thankful for the Flickers that come into my yard. I love them! They aren’t my favorite bird, but they are the bird that always makes me smile. I love watching the expression on their face and I love their curious antics.  I even love it when I hear the tap, tap, tap outside my bedroom window, which often wakes me up in the morning. It always makes me smile – always. I’m thankful God created those little woodpeckers even though my husband hates them.
  • I love it, but I also hate it, when the neighbors’ critters get out of their pens and make their way into our yard. I'm thankful that I live in a neighborhood where that happens and I love each of their silly personalities....the critters; not the neighbors.
  • I am thankful for my new neighbors next door - D. and M. They know all about being neighborly and they do it perfectly...with smiles.
  • I’m thankful for my beagle that wants to be covered up and tucked securely into his bed at night. And I am glad I am the one he wants to do it. I love it that he is almost never up in the morning before I am.
  • I’m thankful for every time my beagle scratches at the door, because that means he doesn’t go potty on my floor. EVER! He is such a good boy!
  • I am thankful for my lab that absolutely will NOT let me sit down without making sure my hand is on her head for a loving pat, for at least a moment or two. And who absolutely demands I throw her bone every time I step out the door. She is the boss, but she doesn't try to be.
  • I am thankful for horses that can look through my living room or dining room window and demand that I know it is their feeding time. Not that I would ever forget.
  • One thing that is always on my list whenever I make a list is rustling Bible pages. It means people are doing what they should be doing…wherever that might be.
  • And of course I’m thankful that God appointed me to the time that has running water and indoor plumbing and electric heat.
  • I’m also thankful, that I live in the generation that was able to meet PM Netanyahu.
  • I am thankful for arguing politicians and frustrated television commentators. At least that means someone cares and is trying to get something done.
  • I’m thankful for cell phones and I am SO thankful, that I was WRONG (probably the most wrong I have ever been) when I told the salesmen the first time I ever saw one, that “Those will never go anywhere!”
  • I’m thankful that I have a good highway to drive on that I absolutely hate to drive!
  • I’m thankful for instant meals, instant entertainment; instant news on demand; and instant messaging, and then whenever I want to, I can make it all distant in simply an instant.
  • I’m thankful it is now less than a month to the shortest day of the year, which means the days will incrementally start getting longer - in just 25 more days!
  • I'm thankful I can count.
  • I’m thankful I opened the first jar of pickles for the season, and they are every bit as good as Mom’s this year.
  • I’m thankful for country music.
  • I’m thankful I thought about learning to play mandolin this year, then laughed about it and forgot about it… and well maybe.
  • I'm thankful for Christmas lights, even if it is early.
  • Someone once told me, "If you leave your Christmas lights up year round, you may be a redneck."  I'm thankful I'm a red-neck.
  • I’m thankful for my new dryer, having gone a week or so without one.
  • I’m thankful I have more pounds to lose, because that means I ate really well this year.
  • I’m thankful for friends from 40 years or more.
  • I’m thankful my roof isn’t leaking and my heat isn’t broke.
  • I'm thankful for my barn; even though it's small, it smells and feels like a real barn.
  • I’m thankful for the stars at night and that I actually live somewhere where I can still see them.
  • I’m thankful for sunrises and sunsets and fingernail moons.
  • I'm thankful that almost every time I see a sunrise, I think of Jim Croce...hmmm hm hmmm hmmmmmm...
  • I'm thankful I am a morning person, as long as I don't have to be around anyone else for an hour or two....or three...
  • Oh, and coffee.
  • And then there are all the important things - I’m thankful for the things too deep to write and I'm thankful that I don’t have to.
Here a moo, there a moo....
Happy Thanksgiving!








Saturday, November 23, 2013

Movie Musings

So, there is a new movie coming out in March, of 2014. I guess it’s supposed to be incredible in the way of photography and special effects.  Sorry, I’m not a movie buff, so I really don’t know what that is called. “Photography”, I’m sure, isn’t the correct word. Anyway, the new movie is based on ancient history about the flood. The movie is Noah I’m struggling with words here, too.  I can’t call it a “Christian” movie; I’m sure it’s not.  I can’t call it a "Biblical" movie. For neither is it that. Well, maybe I could say it’s based on a “biblical” setting with little accuracy about the real account. Therefore, I used the small “b”.  But sorry, when we are talking about things of the Bible there is no small “b”.

Anyway, I woke up this morning thinking about that movie. Not sure why.  It brings me a bit of sadness.  I read the reviews.  Of course, coming from Hollywood, it has a political agenda. And if you don’t already know this, don’t kid yourself…most all movies out of Hollywood do have a political agenda, or a politically correct statement that “Hollywood” is going to get into the script by hook or by crook. The movie industry, mostly controlled by the liberal left, wants to influence us. It’s the way of it.

Well, in this movie, for one thing, Noah is the first environmentalist.  Not really so bad, is it?  Caring for the world is good!  Why doesn’t God care? How dare He destroy it with a flood!   (In case you couldn't tell, I'm being factitious.)

I suppose Hollywood has made their fair share of Biblically based movies.  I know some have been considered to be pretty good.  I don’t know; I have never watched one.  And I pretty much mean never. Not The Ten Commandments; nor The Greatest Story Ever Told; nor any of those that the great movie star, Charlton Heston, has made.  Heston, by the way, is one of my heroes. 

Why haven’t I watched? Somewhere deep down inside of me I am not allowed. Now, I am not making a judgment here as to whether one should watch those movies or not. That is certainly up to the individual. I just have never been able. I never wanted what I knew, learned or believed about the Bible to be from a Hollywood movie…I didn’t want something from a movie getting into my thought process only to confuse me about what is really true. You don’t think that can happen when you know and have studied your Bible so well?  Wait until your 60 and suddenly you find everything starts to get muddled up there.  J

I really don’t know from where my conviction on this comes. I am not saying it is the Holy Spirit. That would put me in a judgmental position, now wouldn’t it, for those Christians that do choose to watch these Hollywood movies? And I don’t want to do that.

I absolutely do not want to be one of those Christians who projects my beliefs upon others; that is only for God to do. Besides, the minute I did that; someone is going to say: “Well, you listen to country music…all that drinkin’ and runnin’ around, and fightin’!” And I’m going to say: “Yeah, I do listen to country; always have and probably always will.” But country music isn’t distorting the context of the Bible and I intend for this post to be only about that!

No one would judge me for listening to country music or whatever, you say? Ha! This ain’t my first rodeo. Christians would do that. We do it all the time, with whatever thing we happen to feel holy about at the moment. I really do not want to be one that does.

So, anyway, I say that only to say this post isn’t about a judgment on anyone for watching a particular movie or anything else they do. I just felt like writing about my deep-seated belief about the accuracy of the Bible in movies; and now I will get to where I think that deeply held belief came.


My paternal grandpa was an old-fashioned, “holiness” preacher. He would not mind being defined that way. I remember as a youth, one day in Grandma’s kitchen, Grandpa was trying to find out where I stood spiritually. Now that was nothing unusual for my grandpa.  If anyone continually had the Gospel on his lips, my grandpa did. I don’t remember how old I was when he questioned me. But, I do remember my answer.

“Why, He’s my Lord and Savior, Grandpa!  I fairly exclaimed. And Grandpa, lit up with a smile on his face and a sparkle in his eye, like only he could.  In fact, to this day, I have never known anyone that shines like Grandpa. Yes, I guess I did say “shines” – present tense – he has been gone almost 30 years now I would say, but he has a heavenly home.

But anyway, I felt and understood his approval. I still feel it to this day. I also remember his next words.  “Get in a church that preaches holiness, Jan.” I don’t remember if he elaborated on that. I’m fairly sure I remember the discussion leading to him saying…”Well, I know He is your Savior, Jan…but is He your Lord?”  

Not sure how I answered that, but I should have said, “I’m still working on that, Grandpa.” 

As a matter of fact, I am still working on that to this day, 50 some years later. And don’t kid yourselves, you are, too; we all need to work daily on making Him the Lord of our lives. But that is for a whole other discussion, as well.
That’s all I remember of that day in Grandpa’s kitchen; But I have never forgotten that moment.

As a side note, (because I am musing here - see title; maybe it should say wanderings) another thing I remember about Grandpa’s holiness life style is that he absolutely would not shop on Sundays. When asked about that, he replied, “Well, if I shop, I am requiring someone to have to work on Sunday, now am I not? And I believe Sunday should be a day of rest.” 

I was reminded of Grandpa’s conviction the other day as I listened to the controversy among news commentators over whether stores should open up for Christmas shopping on the evening of Thanksgiving.  I heard someone say, “Well, people don’t have to shop! They can stay home if they don’t like it, but they shouldn’t prevent others from shopping.” And I thought to myself:  Wow, we have come a long way since the days when my Grandpa thought of others in his decision to not shop. What about forcing people to have to work on Thanksgiving evening, when they would probably much rather be home with their family. It appears that simple fact didn’t even enter the commentators mind. But there’s an example of the difference from then and now.

As I shared this story a couple of years ago, a man adamantly stated, "That's going too far!" Maybe. Probably; certainly by today's standards. But I'm not sure he fully understood the message. Certainly our faith isn't about do's and don't's. But that isn't what this was about either. It was about thinking of others first.

I suspect, though he never said it, Grandpa always wished my family would attend his church; instead my family attended the denomination that my mom’s family had always attended. But anyway, because of my dad’s upbringing, I was raised with an old-fashioned, “holiness” belief system to some degree. I suspect there-in is where my belief on watching Hollywood movies about faith came.

Not saying I don’t watch Hollywood movies. Of course, I do.  I’m just saying I don’t want to watch one about faith, or one that tells the story about the Bible from a Hollywood perspective.  I was raised with the belief, that if one isn’t a Christian, and they try to tell the story, they can’t possibly get it right. I absolutely believe that; and more than that, I believe when it comes to the things of God, accuracy matters!

I know there has been a time, and I don’t remember exactly when, but I remember one day as I scanned television channels, I caught a moment of Richard Chamberlain in one of the movies he made about the Bible.  He was portraying Jesus, and I happened to catch it at the moment when he was portraying Jesus sitting around the fire with the sinners as they drank while Jesus fellowshipped with them. In this movie, Richard Chamberlain was obviously portraying Jesus as a bit tipsy. Now, there were no words that claimed Jesus was drunk, there didn’t need to be. With the excellent acting that Chamberlain was capable of, he was clearly able to give the viewer that understanding without words. I don’t know; maybe he actually had to get a little tipsy himself to be able to film it with that much reality, but there was no doubt, he was drunk – either by his acting methods, or actually getting drunk in order to film it realistically. 

As I watched, I was furious. Jesus was without sin! Jesus would never have been drunk.

Granted, we have the controversy over the wine and whether Jesus drank. Whatever! There are also many that have done studies on this, (and my son is one; David Hocking, another) that can prove by Scripture using the Greek, that it was not fermented wine. But that is also for another post. And again I am judging no one; most Christians and I do mean most, drink, today and that is best left to one’s own convictions.
One more example of inaccurate movies, however, and I will get off this subject and back to the main movie I wanted to discuss - Noah.

Another time, and again I don’t remember exactly when or where, someone I was talking to was telling me about the movie they had just watched.  And I’m sorry, I don’t remember which Hollywood, “Biblical” movie it was.  But the person was telling me about how moved they were when the black man rushed from the crowd to help Jesus carry His cross when Jesus was no longer able. Well, I’m glad this person was moved.  But what was explained that happened in the movie simply wasn’t the truth.  The person that came to help Jesus with His cross would have been Simon from Cyrene. He was possibly black, but not certainly. He was a Jew, and he was from Ethiopia. There were Jews in Ethiopia, so he wasn't necessarily a black man. He also could have been a black Ethiopian who was a converted Jew. That doesn't really matter or Scripture would have told us. But what does matter is that, Biblically, Simon didn’t rush out in compassion to help Jesus. Rather, Simon was forced to carry Jesus’ cross. The Bible uses the word “compelled” and that means “forced”. In the Greek – “aggareuo” – which means “pressed to service” or the technical term for “requisitioned”. Either way, Simon did not do this of his own volition, but rather was untimely, ordered. As a Jew, he was probably humiliated and horrified, as this rendered him unclean for the upcoming Passover meal.

To me that matters! But it doesn’t fit the politically correct agenda today as well as Hollywood might like.  And it was Hollywood’s opportunity to make things look better, than they actually were. For me, if someone was forced rather than graciously offering help; I want to know that, don’t you? It changes the truth and therefore the meaning otherwise.

For those of you that are younger than me, there was a time in television and movie history, when Jesus would absolutely never have been portrayed physically on the screen. It was considered blasphemy to do so. And Hollywood pretty much honored that. The first movies attempting a Biblical theme may have used a voice from the background*, but they would never show Jesus physically. Next, they began with only showing His back, but never His face. Eventually of course, we all grew up, became more sophisticated and believed there was nothing wrong in portraying Jesus physically. (See sarcasm) By the way, when the theatre production of Jesus Christ Superstar first came out, that was also considered blasphemy my many. Now, it is almost accepted as Biblical.

Just another side note, I’m glad that I remember the days when almost everything on Sunday was closed. And I’m also thankful I remember when even Hollywood wouldn’t portray Jesus physically in the movies. That may seem silly; but I'm just glad I know and remember.

So in this new movie, Noah, Noah is a man portrayed as even more loving than God. The Creator, rather, is a cruel enemy that only wants to inflict judgment on man. Noah cares for the animals, the earth, and mankind. He wouldn’t dare kill an animal for meat, and he certainly wouldn’t take lives that should be precious…just apparently not precious to the Creator.

Some may say, “Well so what? I know the truth of the Bible. I just want to enjoy the film.” Great! Enjoy! But I bet you won't. 

And for me, this is where those sad feelings come from that I experienced this morning. The feelings that led me to write this post in the first place. I simply miss those moments when everything was more simple. I wish the people that choose to see this film could know what I know about the way things used to be. You know, like Grandpa's days...Maybe that's wrong. I guess it probably is. Maybe it's a judgment, in a way, that is all my own.

Russell Crowe as Noah
But is this inaccurate movie really something that doesn’t matter?  Yes, we know the Truth, but what about those that don’t know the truth? What about the unsaved that are being misled by this movie? Haven’t we, in part, just undone the Great Commission by supporting something that isn’t true? The Biblical story of the Ark is a Typology of Christ – a foreshadowing of the New Testament in regard to how God saved us through the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is the Gospel message; the Great Commission which we are commanded to share.  I would say by supporting this movie, we have just undone that…at least to some degree. Wouldn’t you?

Hmmm; it all makes one wonder if that’s why Hollywood picked on Noah in the first place…

So, all this rambling just to get us here. Somewhere, sometime, something has to matter…I simply believe keeping Scripture accurate is one.
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
                                             ~ Revelation 22:18-19 KJV


*The Robe - Cameron Mitchell 1953 - Voice only
**Disclaimer:  In this post, I am referring only to those movies made in Hollywood apart from a Christian production. Those movies from a Christian production, is for another discussion/post as well as the others I've mentioned. Got lots of those! J


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Heavenly Peace

It was a perfect morning...well, as close to perfect as is possible.

I woke up about 5:00 a.m., actually feeling rested...but I stayed in bed until about 5:30. I got up to make Matt's lunch and as I worked the sunrise slowly made her appearance.  It was so unsual with beautiful fog and cloud formations, that I decided I should walk outside to take a picture. The ground was white and frosty, so my slippers did not get wet. It was magical.

The horses saw me from the end of the pasture, and watched me, alert, as if trying to decide what I was going to do. Actually, Not "as if"...that is exactly what they were doing. I snapped a few photos, but with my small camera, it was still too dark for them to turn out well.

The horses decided it wasn't feeding time yet, but still started slowly making their way to the barn.

I paused for a moment or two, just to take it all in. The air was fresh and crisp. The sunrise was changing quickly as it does this time of year. As I started my way back to the house, I noticed there was fresh snow in the mountains. Goodness, I love it here, I thought to myself. It was so still and quiet...my own little piece of heaven.

As I came back in, Matt called me from the back of the house..."Hey, Mom, check your email."

My Heavenly Piece
I knew there would be something special. So I turned on the computer and finished filling his thermos as I waited for the computer to load.

This was what I found:

Certain talent always makes me cry when I hear it...this was one. I hope you will take a moment to listen. It's a bit early, I know. But I have always believed Christmas carols are for year around. And it really isn't that early.

Don't forget to listen to the words....I mean, really listen.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Thank A Vet!

We all know Veteran's Day is approaching, and I am sure most of understand and celebrate the meaning behind Veteran's Day.

November 11, 1918, began the armistice - a temporary cessation of hostilities by mutual consent* - of World War I. It was the “truce" between the Allied nations and Germany which interestingly took place on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month. But the "Great War" (World War I) didn’t officially end until June 28, 1919.

Thus it was that President Woodrow Wilson in 1919, proclaimed November 11thas Armistice Day.
"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"
However it wasn’t until June 4, 1926, that the date was officially and formally observed by the United States Congress:
Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and

Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and

Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.
In 1938, the 11th of November became an annual,legal holiday known as "Armistice Day."

Though Armistice Day was originally enacted to honor veterans of World War I, after World War II, veterans groups urged Congress to include all veterans in this act. Therefore in 1954, the word "Armistice" was replaced with the word "Veterans” ensuring the inclusion of all vets. Officially, June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

Things get a bit convoluted when in 1968 a bill (The Uniform Holiday Bill) was signed to orchestrate a three day weekend for federal employees. Four national holidays were targeted now to be changed to Mondays: Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day.

I remember the controversy this change created. Many thought (and I am one) the change would cause history to become distorted and the real meaning of the holiday to be changed or forgotten. Some states honored the change while some did not.

With this change, Veterans Day was celebrated on October 25th for the first time.  Because of the confusion the new date brought between the states there were  new, valid concerns. Some believed the original meaning of the 11th hour, the 11th day of the 11th month would now be forgotten.
Our battle-worn flag charges forward,    
thanks to those who have served.
Due to these concerns, President Gerald R. Ford signed law to return the observance of Veterans Day back to its original date of November 11, to begin in 1978. Ford found overwhelming favor among veterans and the majority of Americans with this law.

Veteran’s Day observance now coincides with the date in history it began, not only preserving the historical significance and meaning, but also allowing us to honor patriots of all war s who  fought and died to preserve our freedom.

Though I have a loved one who has served in each of the major wars, this year, I have chosen a photo to honor those form the Viet Nam War.
“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.” – Billy Graham
 And that is only one of the reasons we need Veteran's Day.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Peering Over the Fence- One Last Thank You

I bought my third copy of American Sniper, a few days ago.  That seems excessive, I know.  And it most likely is. I certainly didn’t need it. I had already bought a copy for my own personal library and then I bought one to lend. But now, the publishers have released a Memorial Edition with an additional 80 pages of memories from friends, family and co-workers of Chief Chris Kyle. I wanted to read those memorials, for sure; but I also simply wanted to support the book. As I said before Chris Kyle is an American hero, and he is my hero, I simply believe in supporting the statement he has made in writing his book. In a nation, that often makes heroes of actors, singers, and athletes that are not worthy of hero status, I believe in supporting one when we finally find one worthy of that honor.

If you are looking for perfection in a hero, you will not find it in Chris Kyle.  But for that matter, (of course we all know) we won’t find perfection in any man or woman.  But that is not what heroes are about. We are not making “gods” of heroes or putting them on some pedestal from which they can fall.  They most certainly will fall. But rather, heroes are about honoring a job well done, heroes are about respecting some one who isn’t afraid to stand for what they believe, but most of all heroes are about leading by example and causing us to see we can be better, too. We can excel, we can be exceptional, we can, in spite of our faults, aspire to something higher. Heroes are about making ourselves better; every nation needs that.

So that said, I simply find that in Chris Kyle. I have written about him before which you can read here.  I am not sorry I bought the Memorial Edition of his book. There are so many lessons in just those 80 extra pages that his friends wrote. It absolutely amazed me what could be drawn from each letter:  The importance of family; the fight for our nation; that others should come before ourselves; that even all of that is in vain without our Savior and Lord Who will always get us through, but not necessarily out of our circumstances.

I wanted to single out and write down each lesson from each letter – as I said there is a valuable lesson in each. But obviously for space, I can’t do that. However, I did write it down it for myself. And it is easy to see there is a common thread woven throughout each letter. I decided to highlight those threads. One of the most common and most consistent is Chris’s humility. I love that; humility is something that has always been very important to me. The other is his service to others – Chris Kyle always put others before himself. Chris defended the underdog – always. Finally, he was a man of faith, and knew he could get nowhere without it. He gave credit to the Only One who deserves credit.

He was very simply a humble and kind-hearted man. He would be the first to admit that he was a man filled with sin and far from perfect. But what his life revealed is he was a man who lived out what he believed. That’s better than some of us. Some of us, as we look down our noses at others in judgment at someone with whom we disagree, totally forget our own “righteousness is as filthy rags”, but not for the blood of Jesus. As we go about looking down on others, we forget to offer a hand up. Chris Kyle always offered that hand, as you will see over and over and over again in these memorials. I am so glad I bought this edition.

I would say just read the letters, there are so many lessons in each one of those letters.  But I am sure one wouldn’t understand the depth of the lesson in the letter without first getting to know and understand the man. I would say American Sniper should be read in every high school, if not for some of the language used in the book. But don’t let that side-track you from the message he has written with his life. And don't say I didn't warn you; as I said before, he cusses like a sailor on steroids...because he's a SEAL.

I’ve had many heroes throughout my life, and that is simply because I believe in heroes.  As I have said before, I believe heroes have always held an important role in our society. We have moved away from that, these days, it seems. Though I am old enough to be his parent, I have learned much from the life of Chris Kyle.  And maybe it isn’t even that I have learned so much from his life, but rather that he has validated that which I believe so strongly. Maybe it’s that he encouraged me to believe there are still young people that “get it”. Maybe it’s that he exemplifies the best of what man can do for their fellow man. Maybe it’s simply that he believes what I believe. But he put action to his words, so much better than I ever have. I’m thankful for the hero, I found in Chris Kyle.

Below, as example without giving too much away of what is written, are some of the lessons others have shared in the Memorial Edition. There are many more worth taking the time to read.

  • From his parents: About Chris - “One who could stand proud, even in defeat, but humble and gentle in victory.” And also from his folks: “He would not allow words to take the place of deeds.”
  • From his wife, Taya: True love is a package deal; the whole sum; good and bad; failures and successes.
  • Chris’s brother: “A guy who was 'wired' to help other people…just a regular guy.”
  • Friend: A true gentleman...in every sense of the word.
  • Marcus Luttrell: “He saved countless lives.” His constant mission – “draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect his brothers.”
  • Businessman: “Being a businessman, I found it hard at first to believe that he gave away all of the money from his book; after spending time with him, I believed it.  His big black ford truck looked pretty cool, but it also had around 150,000 miles and he could not afford to replace it. He was a true American hero.”
  • Sergeant, Dallas Police Department: “He stood ready in the night to visit violence upon those who would do us harm.”
  • Co-Author: Regarding the most memorable moments of Chris’s passing “…the sight that is burned into my memory is the long line of faces peering over the fence behind us, people from around the city, the state, and the country, regular folks offering one last thank-you to a man who gave his all to his country, his God, and his family.” (The faces extend far beyond that fence line – I am one of them.)
  • Wife of Ryan Job, Fellow SEAL Wounded in Action: - …one of the few who still came…


Friday, November 1, 2013

Comfort Food Day

It’s a tomato soup day.  I almost woke up craving it. Definitely by the middle of the day, I knew I wanted some.

I searched the shelves….Oh man, I don’t think I have any. As I searched, I remembered the delicious tomato soup I made in my Vita-mix, last year!  I had forgotten all about it.  I wish I would have remembered to make some when I had all those tomatoes from my garden this summer. Instead, I canned them and made fresh salsa.  I guess I could use some of my canned tomatoes today to make some soup, but I just wanted something fast and easy. I wasn’t feeling well, and I kind of felt like the most I could muster was opening a can and putting it on the stove. 

I searched a bit more; and there at the very back corner of the kitchen cupboard was a lone can of tomato soup.  Awesome!  Yey!  It even has a flip top!  I didn’t even feel like messing with the can opener today, and I wouldn't have to!

Sometimes only tomato soup will satisfy; nothing else will do.  I was kind of having one of those days, today; so I was really glad when I found the can.

Wanting it so badly today, I found it bringing back memories of my youth.  Everyone has grilled cheese and tomato soup days, right?  Well, that was one of my favorite lunches when I was a kid…well even still!  But also as a kid, I liked just having the tomato soup all by itself. I would always add a dollop of butter when the soup was good and hot.  I loved how it melted the butter and it would lie in a ring around the top of my bowl or mug. YUM! 

Often, when I was a kid, I would add Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup to the Tomato.  It always frustrated my dad when I did this…I think he thought I was taking the noodles, adding it to the tomato, and then just leaving the chicken broth for anyone else that might have wanted the chicken noodle. And what do you know?  I guess I was! Now as an adult, I still like it that way and I still do that sometimes because I don’t have as many hungry mouths to feed.
Another thing I like to do with my tomato soup is butter a saltine cracker and then place it directly on the top of my bowl of soup to float there. I wait until the butter is nicely melted and then I scoop up the cracker with my spoon to enjoy.

Breaking up the cracker and crumbling it over the top of my bowl? No, Yucky!  I have never liked that.

One more thing that I liked to do with my tomato soup when I was little, is take a piece of white bread and remove the crust.  I didn’t waste the crust, I dipped in the soup and butter and ate it that way.  But with the white part of the bread, I rolled it in my hands until it formed a nice firm ball.  I then placed it in the hot soup to saturate the bread with butter and soup. YUM!  Of course, I am much too refined…and uh...mature, to do that now.

Tomato Soup and Rolled Bread.
Sounds fancy, doesn't it?
Some days are just comfort food days…this is one.