Ever Wonder

Just curious….how many of you find yourself thinking of something throughout the day and wonder….”Why am I thinking about that???” or “Where did that come from?”

I found myself there this morning. Recalling some of the worst and best memories in my life. From fights with my mother to the recollection of the enormous tapestry on my paternal grandmother’s living room wall. And that is where I want to land today as it is obvious to me that today is a day of remembering and reminiscing.

I guarantee that there is not a single one of her grandkids who does not relish the fond memory of our stately four-legged friends we affectionately named Holly, Molly, Polly and Dolly. They were the most beauty specimens of horse I’d ever seen in artwork and they were my friends. Many hours they watched over my sister, cousins and I as we napped on the davenport (that’s a couch for you young folks), strung buttons, “operated” on Mammaw with her suitcase sized manicure set while she “watched” her ‘stories’ AKA Soap Operas and took a nap herself. Smart woman, she was.

As I look at our society today, these are the things that are missing. The friends in the tapestry, the summer breaks with ALL of the cousins, the planting and pruning of a garden, running through the sprinkler, building ‘a house’ out of pine needles, napping in the cool shade, baking mud pies in pot pie tins and going for long walks that ended in a picnic by the creek. Adventure and imagination………..that’s what my grandmother gave us!!!!

Mammaw passed in 1997, but had she lived she would be 95 years old in a few days. It’s funny how life events cause you to see things differently…… more clearly.  In the past two years, I have sat with one sister of my youth as she buried her 9 year old daughter, lost my absolute longest and bestest friend ever in my maternal grandmother and most recently, mourned with my other life-long friend as her mother was laid to rest.  This feeling of sheer mortality is not something that you can properly convey to another person.  I am grateful to know that each of these ladies knew Christ prior to their passing.  I know they are happy and not suffering with illness or infirmity any longer.  But ironically, my focus of late has been this……am I leaving that same type of legacy??  Do you ever wonder what people would say about you if you passed away today?  Do you ever consider what impact you are making on those around you?  Do you ever wonder?

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Be The Change

Quick and simple………….Be the change that you want to see in the world. Great words to live by but a word of warning to go along with the advice. Be certain that you know what you stand for and why you are willing to stand there. Furthermore, be willing to back it up. Be a big enough person to admit if and when you are wrong. Be a wise enough person to know when you are wrong whether in something you did or said. In my heart, I believe that if these things were to happen, the world would change. So before pointing a finger at someone else, see if you aren’t pointing out your own flaws first. It’s called PRIDE and it destroys.

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Why I Hate The News…..

Just a quick thought……..what if the ‘media’ actually reported the facts and nothing else?

What if people actually had to think for themselves?

Do you truly know why you support the causes that you do? Do you truly know what the function of those causes are and how effective they are? Or do you, like many celebrities and even politicians, jump on the heaviest and most popular bandwagon?
Do you know why you vote the way you do? Do you know their voting history—you know—what they REALLY do versus what they PROMISE they’ll do if elected or re-elected? Have you looked at how what they SAY lines up with what they actually DID while in office or a position?
Why do we continually buy the lie? Hook, line and sinker…….Because it’s easy and it’s everywhere.   I am a self-proclaimed bargain shopping queen.   As any good bargain shopper knows, you have to search for the hidden treasures. I think the same is true for the news today. The days of being able to rely on mainstream media for what is going on in the world are long gone.   Even the media outlets that flaunt themselves with the idea of being objective are just out to make a point! I challenge you all to look for the unbiased truth in all of the ‘breaking news of the day’! Better yet……look to the stories that aren’t big enough to make the front page…..that’s where life is happening and our liberties are being slowly and secretly extinguished.

What if you actually thought for yourself today???????

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Here comes Santa Claus!!! UGH!

Watch out! With nearly less than a week to go before the proverbial “Holiday Season” designed by marketing gurus everywhere to suck the life out of your wallet, the joy is overflowing. NOT! I find that the older I get, the less commercialized our Christmas celebrations become. I’m not trying to be all Bah-Humbug! I seriously am struggling this year with the idea of a designated day to exchange gifts with everyone I know in an attempt to express the depth of my love and celebrate the greatest gift in the entire universe! Jesus Christ!

His birth came at a great cost and His death came at an even greater cost. The price of His gift could never be bought with money. The gift He gave could never be wrapped with cheesy, decorative paper. The gift He gave will not fit under a tree, but when stretched out hung humbly on a tree. The gift He gave was given freely without wanton expectation of insincere gratitude.

When faced with the choice to accept and exalt the gift of Grace or worship at the alter of a rosy, cheeked, obese guy in a red suit who breaks into my house to trivialize the REAL gift by leaving commercialized toys in my living room, I choose grace!

My point is not that gifts are a bad thing….I like presents as much as the next person, but don’t forget the reason that we are celebrating! It may be a federal holiday, but do not let that govern your heart!

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Tolerance Is a Bad Word

Tolerance in society today is nothing more than a new way to say politically correct!  Growing up in the South, I have seen the evolution of today’s tolerance.  I believe that many great changes and influences resulted from the Civil Rights Movement.  I believe that all people should be treated equally, regardless of sex, color or creed.  However, I feel that a great injustice was done with the introduction of such compromise in terms as tolerance.

As defined by Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, tolerance is known as the capacity to endure pain or hardship!  Do you think that is what the leaders of this national campaign for EQUAL rights had in mind—was that when they finished laying down their lives for this cause that they would have done so in the name of being endured or considered a hardship?

 

Tolerance is also defined as having sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own.  As Americans, we, of all people, should to be respectful of others, but that word indulgence gives me grief.  How about this definition???  The act of allowing something!  It is further described as the allowable deviation from a standard.  Just curious, WHO is doing the allowing????  WHO sets the standard and how far can you deviate from it before you are considered wrong?

 

As a soldier, I was bombarded with this idea of tolerance in a setting of strict regimental guidelines.  Needless to say, it doesn’t work there!  It just looks good to parents and politicians who are running for re-election.  It makes our military weak!  In our society today, this banner of tolerance has given many a free pass to not only be lazy but to force their own beliefs onto others which by its very definition is NOT tolerance!!!!

 

I see this most prevalently as a follower of Christ!  If a person who follows a religion other than Judeo-Christian wishes to observe a religious holiday, a society as a whole is expected to honor their ‘right’ to do so.  However, Christians are not allowed to do the same?  I find it most amazing that it is the Christian community who are considered “intolerant”!!!!  Here is what I say to that:  “I, as a follower of the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, am not called to be tolerant!”

 

My example is not one of tolerance, it is one of compassion!  Jesus never showed anyone tolerance, He went farther than enduring them, allowing them to express their wishes, farther than indulging them!  He showed them mercy!  He showed them grace!  He had compassion on them because each person, regardless of the color of their skin, their sex, their socioeconomic status, their education, their choices or their religion………….is seen as a SOUL!!!!!!!!!!   Not the sum of who they want you to think they are, but who they truly are!  He knew that their eternity depended on His sacrifice, regardless of ‘their intolerance’ of Him!

 

I pray that no one ever labels me as tolerant!!!!  Jesus did not tolerate what was against the teachings of God, but He did educate, correct and love them…..even in His death on the cross, He had compassion!  What are you tolerating?

 

 

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REAL Talk for Parents!

I often wonder if the ‘high’ in the term high fashion is directly related to the mindset of the designer!

However, my most perplexing question is to the mindset of the parents who bankroll the trips to the world of ‘high-fashionville’ ?   You, as the parent, have authority over their wardrobe as well!

Do parents honestly not realize that when you choose, and make no mistake—it IS a choice, to dress your precious innocent child as a sex symbol, you are giving them permission to behave accordingly?  Then upon hearing the news from your ‘innocent’ 14 year old daughter will soon be blessing you with a grandchild, you cry out:  “Oh my!  How did this happen?”  As a father or mother who fails to protect the modesty of your male or female offspring—you are putting them on display for those who would desire to steal any element of their childhood?  This world is trying to sale you a bill of goods that may seem harmless.  After all, it’s only a pair of jeans.  Right?  Know this:  THIS world is FULL of deception! What is evil is really good at looking innocent and harmless!

Don’t believe me?  How about the sex trafficker who uses the costume of an American Marine to lure young women into a life of torture?  Or as a ‘Catholic priest’ who will win the wholehearted confidence of poor Mexican families who freely offer their most precious gifts into a life of fear and anguish.

When parents do not stand up for our children, even against our children themselves, we are sending them the message that their body is a platform to send a message and that message is that their body is available.  When  you purchase denim with embellishments attached to the derriere this draws attention to that area, you are saying, “Look at my daughter’s tush!”  When you spend a lot of money on this neon sign, you are saying, “It is very nice!  Don’t you see?”   The see-through(burnouts), low-cut or tight  shirts–are you advertising your daughters’ womanhood for the pleasure of young boys or old men?  By the way, a bra is an UNDERGARMENT!!!!  To be worn UNDER clothing!  When we allow idols who pay strangers to raise their own children to set the standard for morality in our own households, we are doomed to fail.

What about our young men?  Are they exempt from standards?  I say,  “Absolutely Not!”  Baggy jeans, gang signs, skulls and anarchy symbols send the message that their role as men no longer has value.  Our young men should be warriors, not gangsters.  Yet once again, we have allowed generations to arise that place this selfish and ruthless lifestyle on a pedestal to be admired.  It has taken its toll on our families by giving men the permission to run away from responsibility.   Women in this pop-culture, hip-hop world are viewed as something to be utilized for pleasure and nothing more.  Is that what you want for your daughter?  Because no one stands up for their hearts, young women now buy into the idea that this is their role and embrace what value they can glean from it.  I am so heartbroken as I peruse the walls of my Facebook friends and walk around my local mall! I see the path that lies ahead for each of these young people, knowing the battles that they will face and that many will lose themselves in the fight because no one, even their own DNA, does not value them!

As a mother of both girls and boys alike, I know the struggles of the current fashion trends that literally ATTACK our family unit!  I am not saying that if you buy your child an expensive pair of designer jeans you are a bad parent.  What I am saying is that your choices DO MATTER, so make them wisely.   Be clear fellow parents—it is YOUR responsibility to protect their innocence!  STEP UP!!!!!!

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Adversity

I am PROUD to be an American!

Yes, because I KNOW I’m FREE!  Don’t worry, I’m not going to break out into song.

But this time of year really gets me to thinking about what’s truly important.  It’s not the guy who cuts you off in traffic or the chore that doesn’t ‘quite’ get finished.  No, it’s the laugh of your children when they play.  It’s the sweet-smelling, innocent smile of a baby.  The gentle squeeze of the hand of a grandparent or the tender kiss of a lover.  It’s KNOWING God and KNOWING that you have the freedom to worship Him openly.  Sadly, we often take all of these things for granted.  Until we meet with adversity that is!  Then, and usually only then, are we once again a proud and protective people, united by that adversity.

Renown pastor, Charles Stanley, put it this way, “Adversity removes the cloak of “what we are supposed to be” to reveal the truth of what we are.”

Never has this been more true than on 9/11.  I saw our nation come together and show our enemies and allies alike that we were still united and still one nation under God.  People put aside their differences and consoled each other. Businesses closed their doors and went home to be with their families and friends.  Volunteers came from every walk of life to help.  Money and supplies were donated without a second thought of how it would affect our wallets or the bottom line.   At our core, America is a humble nation of loving and caring people.

Our enemies have painted this picture of America as a power-hungry, blood-thirsty, war  machine.   Why?  Because we are the best equipped and best trained military on the planet?  Sure, that’s one really, really good reason.  However, I believe our power rests in the heart of the American citizen.   Every country in the world defends itself.  Militias and insurgent guerrilla groups rule many areas.  Sadly, the reality is that even children around the globe are given weapons.  These factions operate out of fear and lack  the heart to defend and protect another with their own life.  They have been taught to kill out of hate and anger.  When a soldier has to make the difficult choice to take a life, it is for a greater good.    In John 15:13  (NIV) it says  “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  I find it no coincident that in Proverbs 17:17 (NIV) it says that “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

As you read my thoughts today, think about the challenges that you face each and every day.   September 11th will forever remain a dark and somber day in the history of our young country.  We owe it to our fellow Americans who perished that day and especially those who willingly sacrificed their lives, to remember ‘the truth of what we are’.  Treat your neighbors with love, kindness  and compassion and not contempt or envy.   Love your children like they are the most precious thing in your life.  Thank a Soldier, Sailor, Marine or Airman JUST for willingly offering their life to defend the freedoms that you lay your head on at night and beat your chest over during the day.   Moreover, remember to thank God in Heaven for your TRUE freedom, paid for by His son, Jesus Christ, who willingly laid down His life for YOU and for ME on the cross!

Pray for our country, its leaders (whether we agree with them or not), our military and our fellow citizens.  Pray that when your cloak is stripped away, you will be proud of what adversity brings to light, because truth is always found in the light!

God Bless and God Bless America!

Signed,

An American

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Hello! This Is Me!

Just a little note to announce to the world that I have finally joined the blogosphere! I hope that you will enjoy reading my thoughts, rants and advice from time to time. Please bare with me as I learn how to make my site more inviting. We will try on a few different looks I’m sure. Most importantly, I ask that you help keep me accountable and authentic! God Bless!

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