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

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

He's Got This You, Lamebrain Need a Sign Mama

Matthew has bluebirds at his new home…Mountains!

I was there cleaning last night, as he was finishing up some painting. We had the sliding glass door open as it was such a beautiful evening and I suppose to help alleviate paint fumes.
I had stopped working, and was watching my son finish the last touches of the “Warm Summer” yellow, he was applying to his dining room walls. A flutter from the slider caught my eye; a splash of blue.
“You have bluebirds!” I exclaimed as I stepped outside to look. I looked toward the sky, hoping to see what I thought I had seen. There at the top of one of the majestic pines in his yard sat the bird. But only for a moment. It just as quickly flew west as I watched, which enabled the light to be just right for me to better see. It was a Mountain Bluebird and it took my breath away.
The way it had acted, I almost felt like it may have had a nest somewhere near the house. But it is the wrong time of year for that. They are simply making their final farewells, before they head south for the winter.
I could not have been more excited.
“I will have to put up a couple boxes, this spring,” my son commented as he worked.
I continued to search the sky. I was rewarded. I saw a couple of the beautiful “bluebirds of happiness” dart through the pines.
Now don’t laugh at me. The reason I love them so much is because of my youth. They were very prevalent in our neighborhood when I was growing up. I hadn’t seen any in years, but when we moved to our home in the country almost 12 years ago, our yard was full of them. It simply made me so happy!! I felt like they were a gift from God. Even a sign to assure us we were in the right place.
For some of you this will get corny. But I am a sincere believer that God uses nature, (the sky, the weather, animals) as messages to us; or “signs” for us to interpret. Since my initial visit with the bluebirds in our own yard, there have been several instances where I believe God has used a bluebird to show me His love for me. It doesn’t mean it will be the same for you, but that is what I believe He uses for me.
Now the move for my son into his own home has been somewhat difficult. It is a beautiful home on acreage, which is something he has always wanted. It is a perfect place to raise kids, being on a dead-end street where there will be little traffic. And it is away from all the distractions of the world and city life. It has all the things he had in mind as he selected the home he had always hoped to purchase.
For me, I couldn’t have been happier for him or more pleased with the home he chose. I saw the wisdom in his decision to own rather than rent which would cost almost the same amount of money with no return. With his desire to always have a horse, I understood exactly why he wanted acreage. I could NOT be more proud that at 22 he was not only able to do this, but smart enough as well.
BUT!! He is leaving home! When I think of MYSELF, I am almost mortified! Heartbroken! You know that feeling where you are just on the edge of tears, and your face gets tight and you feel the pressure in your sinuses, because the tears are ready to fall! Yes, that feeling! I am not able to explain it or describe it well, but if you have ever been on the edge of tears, you know what I am talking about. That is how I have been walking around…for days!!! I’m going to be an empty nester! And yes, this IS all about me! ;-) (Just kidding!)
Then, too, it has been a difficult time for my son. Other things in his life have been there to steal his joy from all that he believed to be right. Conflict has been there to rob him of something that should be one of the happiest and proudest moments he will ever experience – the purchase of one’s first home. Still, he has remained steadfast and committed to the decision he made for his someday family. I have watched for years as he worked step-by-step to fulfill that end. He has diligently sought God first in what he believed was the career God planned for his life – a selfless life of giving, but one also that would make a decent living for his family. I don’t mean to sound like I am bragging or building my son up, by saying: “a selfless life of giving”. It is the truth; but it also exactly what my son needs in order to be happy. He simply is not content unless he is doing something for others. He has always been that way. I can’t explain it. It is simply the way God created him. God has His ways for putting men and women in place for the missions He has in mind.
But we are human and sometimes we let doubt get in our way. At least, I do. I think Matt is better at hearing and trusting God than I am. He is unwavering, and I am proud of him for that.
So the truth is, that little bluebird (and a Mountain at that) was put there for me last night. It was my sign – and actually the Bible says it is the weak that require a sign – was given to me by God as an assurance that He’s got this. He has Matthew where He wants him. We don’t always understand, but God never leaves us defenseless or alone. That little bluebird lifted my heart one more time when I once again needed a heart-lift.
I watched my son as he meticulously and carefully applied the final touch to the edge of the wall where the different colors would meet. He wasn’t aware of what I was feeling – “a mama who is only as happy as her saddest child” as the saying goes. But while watching his perfection, and contemplating the “sign” I had just been given, I realized this man his dad and I have raised is firm in his decisions because of the One in whom he trusts. He’s got this…him and God.
I prayed over the house right then. “Lord, please bring many days of happiness here. Keep the wolves at bay and your protection over all. Most of all protect this man’s heart and keep it wholly and solely preserved for You and all that is Your will for his life. Keep him strong and committed and protected...a little joy would go a long way, too. In Your time, bring…
And thank You for Your patience with his lamebrain, “need a sign” mama.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Political Junkie

The second Republican Presidential debate was held last night. Because I am somewhat of a "political junkie", I was really looking forward to watching it. But then, I realized it was on CNN and I don’t get CNN with my television package.

I knew I could watch the debate on-line, but I don’t have unlimited data, and I knew a 3 hour debate would take a pretty big chunk out of what data I have available. Before the month was over, I would end up going over my limit by quite a bit and get charged substantially more.
I was frustrated that I couldn’t watch. I busied myself about the garden and then the kitchen, thinking I would side-track my disappointment. Finally about an hour and a half later, I gave in and turned on the computer to see if I could find the debate streaming live. Of course, CNN had it available. I set the computer to full screen and sat down to watch. I had only missed an hour and 15 minutes of a 3 hour debate.

I am not sorry I watched. I love getting to know these candidates better. And I love seeing how they interact with each other and how they handle sticky situations. Certainly, I love to hear their answers regarding foreign and domestic policy. Truthfully, the whole thing invokes a great deal of pride in me. Pride for these men and women who are so adept and skilled in their answers. Pride in a nation that affords their citizens the opportunity to be so active in the politics of our nation; and pride that we have men and women who actually believe they can do something great for America, the land that we love.

I woke up this morning and the debate was still on my mind. I kept running through my thoughts different statements by the candidates and things that took place. It was early, still dark outside, and an hour earlier than I normally get up. I usually at least wait for the first light before I rise, but I couldn’t shut my mind off to go back to sleep…”Oh-oh! I feel a blog post coming on”, I told myself. I got up to write.
Obviously no one wants to read about a 3 hour debate, so I thought I would just touch on some of the highlights and hopefully make it entertaining enough that someone will want to read it.

Nothing that I write about is in any particular order, but rather just as it comes to mind as I type.

One of my favorite moments was toward the end of the debate when the moderator told us he was going to now ask a couple "light- hearted" questions. He asked the candidates, if they could replace Hamilton who is on the ten dollar bill, with a woman, who would they put on this piece of currency.

There were some good answers. I think it was Ted Cruz that said he wouldn’t change the ten dollar bill because Hamilton was a Founding Father. Rather he would change the 20.00 bill who had Jackson on it and he would put Rosa Parks on it, instead. I wasn’t real impressed with that…I think he was invoking a name he thought would get him votes. But then, I guess that is what they are supposed to do - get votes.

Carly Fiorina - the only woman on the stage - said she would not change history at all by replacing anyone on any bill with a woman. Being I am so firm on keeping history intact, I liked that. I thought that was the best answer. It was especially interesting coming from the only woman.
But I loved Ben Carson’s answer the best when he said he would put his mom on the bill. When he gave his testimony regarding the person his mother was, it brought tears to my eyes. I know his story well, having read all of his books. But the passion with which he talked about his mom was very moving. Equally moving is the miracle that his life is, especially after understanding what his mom was up against. It was incredibly inspiring. I love Ben Carson and I always have, but he is a bit too liberal for me on certain issues. However, a part of me would love to see someone like him - a black, Christian man who has no experience in the political realm - win the election just to see what would happen. But the Presidency is not a social experiment, and the wiser part of me opts for someone with experience. I do believe Carson would pick a good team and follow their advice when it came down to running his office, though.

One of the funniest moments of the debate, I thought was when the moderator gave his second light hearted question. He asked the candidates, what he thought they would like their secret service names to be if they were elected President. Each President is given a name by secret service as code. It was interesting to hear their responses, but the funniest by far was Jeb Bush when he said “Eveready”. He has been attacked mercilessly by Donald Trump, for his lack of energy. Jeb got one on the Donald with that answer. The crowd roared with laughter.
And doggone! I hate to say it, but Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey just continues to impress me. I haven’t really cared for Christie up until these debates, feeling he is too liberal on too many issues. But holy cow, does he nail the foreign policy questions and national defense every time he has to answer. His passion and experience with 9/11 make his reasoning very compelling. I have always thought that way, anyway, I just didn’t know he did. He also schooled Trump and Fiorina on their back and forth bickering about the successes and failures of their careers. “No one cares!” Christie chastised. “You’re both rich and famous! Congratulations! But let’s talk about the 55 year old brick layer trying to make a living.” That’s a paraphrase, but you get the idea. Honestly, I thought that was very appropriate and put what I was feeling into words. Let’s get off the attacks of one another and get on with substance.

Ted Cruz, one of my leading candidates had an awesome closing statement, touching on everything that is my heart. I get tired of the drama in Ted’s voice, but if I had to choose today, he is probably who I would vote for.
I am still undecided, though. I have long loved Huckabee and would not hesitate a bit to cast my vote for him. He didn’t seem to have any break out moments last night, unless it was in the first part of the debate that I missed. But he stands on principle and has always been true to his convictions. He definitely has the experience.

There are two candidates should they receive the nomination that I would have trouble voting for. Trump and Rand Paul. Of course, I would vote for whomever the Republican candidate is, because I believe so firmly that we MUST get the Democrats out of control. But  truthfully those are the two I would prefer go no further.
Trump is not Presidential material, in my opinion, with his rude comments and attacks of others always being at the forefront of his lips. And too, he has changed too many of his positions so that he can now run on the Republican ticket. He has always been too liberal in the past. I don’t know how that is possible coming from a man that has the success he has had using the Capitalism most Democrats disdain, but liberal he was.

And Rand Paul…oh my goodness where do I begin. I can write pages about him!! Suffice it to say, he had the low point in the debate, when trying to defend the legalization of marijuana. He called out someone on the stage for being a hypocrite, because that person now opposed the legalization of marijuana, but had smoked it in high school! What a foolish thing to say! Paul isn’t even smart enough to see that just because someone smoked dope as a youth, doesn’t make them a hypocrite because they grew up, learned their lessons, and changed their position. That isn't hypocrisy! That's wisdom!! Paul wasted so much time on foolish arguments regarding the legalization of this dangerous drug, that I could have slapped him into next week. Of course, he used the phony premise that this is all about medical marijuana. Several of the candidates called him on that. And Jeb, handling the awkward moment very well, fessed up that it was he that Paul was referring to, and then he perfectly explained his current position. Paul simply isn't smart enough to figure out, he isn't going to win a Republican debate, by advocating for the legalization of marijuana! For me that's a huge problem.
And of course Paul is always proud of his isolationist/pacifist position regarding foreign policy. He simply isn’t smart enough to see that is not what American needs, nor is that who we are. Continually blasting conservative Republicans as RINO’s (Republicans in Name Only) he is the real RINO. He is nothing more than a libertarian aligned more closely to the Democrat’s ideals than he ever will be Republican. I can’t stand the man.

Also, Paul has a new thing he loves to do now that really fires me up. He loves to say, “If you want a war-mongering President, you have 10 of them on this stage, I am not your candidate if that is what you want.” And then he aligns these "war-mongering candidates" with Hilary and the Democrats, saying they are alike in that regard. This could not be further from the truth. There is a reason he is doing it, however. He has been exposed for who he really is over the years; and that is someone who is left of Obama and the Democrats on foreign policy. It has been the main criticism he has received and it is the truth. Had he been elected President in 2008 and 2012, we would be experiencing the exact same result we have experienced with Obama. And that is a downgrading of our military and losing all that was accomplished in Iraq because of Obama’s foolish and early withdrawal of troops. Paul would have done the exact same thing Obama did, with the exact same results.
But Paul has to counter that problem critique of his positions…that “he is left of Obama.” Anyone can figure out that statement is a problem for someone running on the Republican ticket. So Paul simply lies, by equating Democrats and Republicans as people that would get us into every war, every chance they get. It is a falsehood and he is the one that is more aligned with the Democrats in his positions regarding war and the downgrading of the military. Finally, this is getting long, so I won’t even go into Paul’s position on Israel. But that is most important of all. Suffice it to say, he is no different than Obama on his support of Israel.

There is one thing Trump had correct, though I didn’t like it when Trump said it, “Paul [didn’t] belong on that stage.”
Well anyway, I got that out of my system now. There were a lot of other things that I could write about regarding the debate, but no sense in boring my readers. I’m sure I already pushed the envelope in that regard.
Instead, I’m going to go see if I can find the first hour and 15 minutes of the debate on line, so I can watch what I missed…YES! I AM a political Junkie.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Kissing Who?

There has been a photo that has been showing up on Facebook for the last few days. It has been "liked" and "shared" by multiple "friends". The first time I saw it, I cringed. Clearly, it exposed a leftist message cloaked in the garment of Christianity.

So this photo kept showing up, and showing up and showing up. Christians kept “liking” it, promoting its message. I continued to cringe. “Why can’t people see the real message here?” I pondered.

Not entirely Scriptural
And me, being who I am, of course had to go research the source.  I wasn't at all surprised with what I found. It comes from a page called Kissing Fish. His profile pic, is a picture of a Jesus fish, kissing a Darwin fish. Oi!!!  The pages says they are “progressive Christianity”. Now, I have researched “progressive Christianity” in the past.  Simply put, they ignore the parts of the Bible they don’t like, and pick up the ones that seem to fit the social agenda of the world, that they do like. Below is a snippet from their page listed under “RULES OF THIS PAGE” and apparently their claim to fame. (I have left their spelling and punctuation errors exactly as written.)
This Facebook page is the fan-page for the book "Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don't like christianity." As such, it's a forum to promote and discuss progressive Christianity. It's also a Safe Space and a Haven for people who are wary about Christianity and who have been burned by conservative evangelical and/or fundamentalist forms of the faith. I am the “shepherd” of this flock and I seek to be protective in a reasonable way.
I do allow conservatives and fundamentalists - and militant/evangelical atheists to visit this page and to post comments on it -- to an extent. I remove posts that are outright seeking to convert people to either fundamentalism or atheism. I remove posts that tell progressive Christians that we're "back-slidding sinners, false teachers, wolves in sheep's clothing" or that we're "going to hell." I remove posts that bash homosexuals or condemn homosexuality. I also remove posts that mock people of faith for having faith.
Also, if a post or comment is over 50% quoting scripture without original thought or commentary, or if a comment contains vulgarity/swearing, or LOTS OF SHOUTING, or if a post is one very long block of text without any use Of paragraph breaks (hard returns),….
Whatever! I hope you can read between the lines here. He corrects everyone who might oppose his thoughts, right from the get-go. So rest assured, "fundamentalists" understand fully anything we post will be deleted. Most in the "fundamentalist" group, therefore, will probably not bother to share their thoughts. But how nice of him to allow conservative fundamentalists to post something as long as they stay within his rules. And hmmmm, I wonder if I should be concerned he links and thereby compares us to "militant /evangelical atheists"? Oh, and apparently the "F" word is ok on his page, ( I saw it there) but not content that contains more than 50% Scripture.  Go figure.

But let me get back to the issue that originally brought me here. The photo above states that there should be no fence to keep aliens out. Welcome them, make the table bigger!  Let them come. What the message ignores, is the same message that the left ignores - the Rule of Law!  We have laws regarding coming into our country…exactly like every nation in the world has immigration policy governed by their laws. What are we going to do? Only obey the laws we like and ignore the rest? (Oh what do you know?!  Kind of like "progressive Christianity" does with the Bible verses they like and the ones they don’t) Why have laws at all then, if we only follow them when we want to; when it is expedient for our agenda? And where does the Bible say, "Just follow the verses you like."?

I guess what bothers me most, is Christians that should know better, (those same conservative fundamentalists that he attacks) are promoting this progressive agenda, when they spread this photo around without thinking. It sounds so holy. It sounds so right. Jesus would just accept them all!! But that simply isn’t the full Gospel. The Bible also tells us we are to obey the laws of the land - those laws, that in our nation actually govern us according to Scripture, because that is from what and where our Rule of Law is based. The message in this photo ignores that. Jesus also tells us that the poor will always be among us. But that there is something more important than poverty; and that is the poverty of their souls. Bring that message! You will never feed them all. Still, I understand and agree we are to try for those that are placed in our path. But we simply cannot let our nation be destroyed by those who refuse to follow our Rule of Law. If our nation fails and crumbles - and it will, unless we deal with this illegal immigration problem correctly - who then will feed the poor and lost people? Who then will bring that all-important Gospel message? Who?

We need to be careful with what we willingly or unwittingly share. Because we are influencing someone, whether we like to admit it or not. Truth is, that's the whole purpose of sharing, isn't it? And oh how "progressive Christianity" loves to bash all things political! "We should not be involved in politics", they love to say. But when something is labeled "progressive", it's progressive i.e. liberal/left, whether they attempt to add "Christianity" to the label or not. It's still political - that awful, dirty word that they love to hate. It is merely the politics of the other side.
God made us a nation of laws for a reason. We don’t get to pick and choose which laws we want to obey and throw out the rest. That would lead to anarchy. Neither do we get to pick which Bible verses we like and ignore the ones that we don’t like. Truth is, that isn’t Christianity at all…no matter who you decide to kiss.